[Marxism] Fwd: Why would Putin have had a former KGB operative murdered? - The Washington Post

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Jan 23 05:53:10 MST 2016

One notable book, "Blowing Up Russia," suggested that the agency was 
behind a series of apartment bombings in September 1999 that had killed 
more than 300 people. These bombings had been blamed on Chechen 
separatists and were a key rationale for Russia engaging in the Second 
Chechen War — a war that clearly helped the popularity of Putin, prime 
minister at the time of the bombings. Litvinenko's book presented the 
argument that the bombings were a "false flag" that killed ordinary 
Russians for political purposes — something that would create incredible 
anger in Russia if ever proven.


(Don't bother clicking the link for the article below. It has 
disappeared from the CounterPunch archives. Unfortunately when they 
moved to a new format, a bunch of articles got lost apparently.)

> Counterpunch, September 8, 2004
> The Heavy Hand of Putin
> Russia and Chechnia After Beslan
> The intentional targeting of a school by Chechen hostage-takers and the
> cruelty and the brutality they employed against defenceless children has
> horrified the world. It is an atrocity and the Chechen fighters and
> Islamist terrorists who carried it out are ruthless criminals.
> Absolutely nothing progressive can come of such terrorist attacks on
> innocent civilians. The terrorist methods employed by these groups are
> absolutely reactionary and entirely counter-productive, and can neither
> be supported nor defended.
> To recognise this political fact and state it openly in no way minimises
> the criminal repression carried out by Putin and the ruling elite of
> Russia against the Chechen people. The hostage-taking and other similar
> actions are the inevitable consequence of a war that has long since
> taken the form of state-organised terror. The brutal war carried out by
> the Russian army and security forces for over 10 years in Chechnia has
> fuelled the growth of separatist movements, increasing the desperation
> of the local people and driving layers of young people towards Islamic
> radicalism and suicide bombing.
> Since the time of the tsars, the Chechen people have fought for their
> independence. The Russian rulers, for most of the time, despised their
> Muslim adversaries. They considered these fanatical fighters as
> half-witted and primitive, and treated all Chechens as rebels, bandits
> and terrorists. This had been the case in the 18th century, and it has
> been true for all Chechen opponents of Russia since then. In the Russian
> perception, the only way to deal with the Chechen resistance was (and
> still is) the policy of massive force, implemented with single-minded
> ruthlessness. The Soviet press provides rich material on the numerous
> trials of Sufi sheikhs from Chechnia and their murids in the late 1950s
> and 1960s. As a rule, the accused were always tried for "banditry" and
> "manslaughter". Russian leaders on the face of the evidence should have
> learned a good deal from history. One is struck by the repetition of the
> same remedies and mistakes in the military and political field for the
> last two hundred years.
> Putin's own rise to power was closely bound up with similar aggressive
> campaigns against Chechnia. In August 1999, Yeltsin nominated the
> largely unknown former security service veteran, Vladimir Putin, as head
> of the government. Shortly afterwards a series of bomb attacks destroyed
> blocks of flats in Moscow and other Russian cities, claiming hundreds of
> victims. Although the perpetrators were never properly identified, there
> were many indications that the secret service agency FSB was involved.
> Putin used the bombings as an excuse to once again undertake a
> full-scale military mobilisation against Chechnia. Appealing to Russian
> chauvinism and making crude attacks on Chechens he was swept into office
> as Russia's president on a wave of nationalist hysteria.
> According to the story published by Anna Politkovskaia, a journalist of
> Novaia Gazeta, an agent of the FSB infiltrated the group of Chechen
> terrorists who took about 800 people hostage in a Moscow theatre in
> 2002. This agent succeeded in escaping the building and surviving the
> government rescue assault, as a result of which 129 hostages and the
> whole group of about 50 Chechen militants were killed. If this report is
> true, then Putin's government is guilty not only of a cruel and
> merciless overreaction to the hostage crisis, but also of directly
> organising one of the greatest armed provocations in recent Russian
> history.
> The Russian army established a brutal dictatorship in Chechnia based on
> naked terror. Ten years ago Chechnya had a population of 2 million.
> Today it is 800,000. At least 80,000 have died since 1994 (over 40,000
> them children). All major towns, including the capital Grozny, have been
> razed to the ground. These are figures supported by reports of human
> rights organisations such as Amnesty International. The total
> destruction of Grozny by bombardment and military occupation of Chechnia
> by a force over 300,000 illustrates the continued application of a
> tsarist type colonial policy. Even Putin was forced to concede his
> surprise at the extent of the destruction of the city when he visited
> Grozny in May, following the assassination of the pro-Moscow governor,
> Ahmad Kadyrov.
> full: http://www.counterpunch.org/gokay09082004.html

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