Comment: Anyone who thought Russia would sit back and allow the U.S. to impose regime change in Ukraine is stupid enough to believe that the U.S. would sit back and watch Russia impose regime change in Canada. Except the U.S. really did seek to impose regime change in Ukraine, using a group of corrupt thugs that aren’t much different than the corrupt thugs they were trying to take out other than for being “pro-West.” Are journalists able to read history, or at lest Wikipedia? Ukraine was pretty much part of Russia for hundreds of years. Also, “On January 31, 1667, the Truce of Andrusovo was concluded, in which the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth ceded Smolensk, Severia and Chernigov, and, on paper only for a period of two years, the city of Kiev to the Tsardom of Russia. The Eternal Peace of 1686 acknowledged the status quo and put Kiev under the control of Russia for the centuries to come. Kiev slowly lost its autonomy, which was finally abolished in 1775 by the Empress Catherine the Great.”

Snippet: American trust in the mainstream media had fallen to a historic low. The fractured media environment seemed to spawn conspiracy theories about everything from Barack Obama’s place of birth (supposedly Kenya) to the origins of climate change (a Chinese hoax).

Comment: Americans have good reason, i.e. the New Yorker, to not trust the media. And as espoused by the magazine, and many others, Russiagate is another conspiracy theory that’s about as believable as the claims of Birtherism.

Snippet: Yevgenia Albats, the author of “The State Within a State,” a book about the K.G.B., said that Putin probably didn’t believe he could alter the results of the election, but, because of his antipathy toward Obama and Clinton, he did what he could to boost Trump’s cause and undermine America’s confidence in its political system. Putin was not interested in keeping the operation covert, Albats said. “He wanted to make it as public as possible. He wanted his presence to be known,” and to “show that, no matter what, we can enter your house and do what we want.”

Comment: Well, that settles it. PUTIN FUCKED US, BUT GOOD!

Snippet: By Inauguration Day, January 20th, the evidence of a wide-scale Russian operation had prompted the formation of a joint task force, including the C.I.A., the F.B.I., the N.S.A., and the financial-crimes unit of the Treasury Department. Three Senate committees, including the Intelligence Committee, have launched inquiries; some Democrats worry that the Trump Administration will try to stifle these investigations. Although senators on the Intelligence Committee cannot reveal classified information, they have ways of signaling concern.


Snippet: After viewing the classified materials, Mark Warner, of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said of the Russia investigation, “This may very well be the most important thing I do in my public life.”

Comment: Mark Warner has never done anything important in his public life, so this is a very low bar.

Snippet: Trump denounced the dossier as a fake. Putin’s spokesman called it “pulp fiction.” But, before the dossier became public, Senator John McCain passed it along to the F.B.I.; later, some of his colleagues said that it should be part of an investigation of Trump.

Comment: John McCain is a brain dead neocon. Who cares what he does or thinks?

Snippet: For many national-security officials, the e-mail hacks were part of a larger, and deeply troubling, picture: Putin’s desire to damage American confidence and to undermine the Western alliances—diplomatic, financial, and military—that have shaped the postwar world.

Comment: Not much comment, that is just too stupid. The Trump-Clinton election did more to damage American confidence than anything Putin could have cooked up.

Snippet: Not long before leaving the White House, Benjamin Rhodes said that the Obama Administration was convinced that Putin had gone into an “offensive mode beyond what he sees as his sphere of influence,” setting out to encourage the “breakup” of the European Union, destabilize NATO, and unnerve the object of his keenest resentment—the United States…Samantha Power offered a similar warning, shortly before leaving her post as United Nations Ambassador. Russia, she said, was “taking steps that are weakening the rules-based order that we have benefitted from for seven decades.”

Vlad the Destroyer. Image from New Yorker’s story.

Comment: Here we go with Rhodes again. And a dose of Samatha Power. This is scraping the bottom of the barrel. And “rules-based” — it benefited us, admittedly, but it must be good. Please.

Snippet: Putin’s resentment of the West, and his corresponding ambition to establish an anti-Western conservatism, is rooted in his experience of decline and fall—not of Communist ideology, which was never a central concern of his generation, but, rather, of Russian power and pride…In speeches and interviews, Putin rarely mentions any sense of liberation after the fall of Communism and the Soviet Union; he recalls the nineteen-nineties as a period of unremitting chaos, in which Western partners tried to force their advantages, demanding that Russia swallow everything from the eastward expansion of nato to the invasion of its Slavic allies in the former Yugoslavia. This is a common narrative, but it ignores some stubborn facts.

Comment: It’s about 99 percent stubbornly true.

Snippet: When the 1996 election season began, Yeltsin was polling in the single digits. Much of the country held him responsible for economic measures that seemed to help only those close to Kremlin power. For millions, reform—including the “shock therapy” pushed by Western advisers and politicians—meant a collapse in basic services, hyperinflation, corruption, kleptocratic privatization, and an economic downturn as severe as the Great Depression. Most Russians blamed not the corrosion of the old system but, rather, the corruptions of the new. Demokratiya (democracy) was popularly referred to as dermokratiya (shit-ocracy). Yeltsin, benefitting from the support of both the oligarchs and the International Monetary Fund, managed to eke out a victory against his Communist opponent, but he continued to drink heavily, despite a history of heart attacks, and, in his final years in power, was often a sorry, inebriated spectacle.

Comment: Oohhhhh, more Russian words to make us look smart, nyet? Finally a little truth anyway, but please make sure to mention that the U.S. “meddled” in Russia for years on behalf of its toady Yelstin; it helped him steal an election and keep him in power, until his drunken antics required the hated, discredited leader to resign and hand over power to Putin.

Snippet: But, even in the Internet era, more than eighty per cent of Russians get their news from television. Manipulation of TV coverage is a crucial factor in Putin’s extraordinarily high popularity ratings, typically in excess of eighty per cent—ratings that Donald Trump both admires and envies.

Comment: There you go Davey et al, nice meaningless comparison of Trump and Putin. What political leader doesn’t want high ratings? Anyway, thank god America can rely on MSNBC, Fox News and the New Yorker for fair and balanced coverage

Snippet: Late one evening in the spring of 2007, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia was at home using his laptop computer. He had trouble getting online. The news sites were down. The banks were down. Government sites were down…[A]fter a few calls, he realized that someone was attacking one of Estonia’s core assets.

Comment: Estonia? Seriously? You totally lost me.

Snippet: Gerasimov is sixty-one years old, and is always photographed in a stiff, forest-green military uniform and with a perpetually sagging frown.

Comment: This is what passes for color at the New Yorker. The words just leap off the page. And the “perpetually sagging frown” is what the experts call “tipping your hand.”

Snippet: Obama’s adviser Benjamin Rhodes said that Russia’s aggressiveness had accelerated since…

Comment: Rhodesy! You’re back! Bye!

Snippet: By March, 2016, the threat was unmistakable. Cybersecurity experts detected a second group of Russian hackers, known as Fancy Bear, who used “spear-phishing” messages to break into accounts belonging to John Podesta and other Democratic officials. Like Cozy Bear, Fancy Bear had left a trail around the globe, with its technical signature visible in cyberattacks against the German parliament, Ukrainian artillery systems, and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Comment: This is better than an episode of Berenstain Bears!

Snippet: By mid-February, law-enforcement and intelligence agencies had accumulated multiple examples of contacts between Russians and Trump’s associates, according to three current and former U.S. officials.

Comment: It’s now late-October. It’s still not entirely clear if those contacts were inappropriate, a lot of the reporting on this has by now been discredited. But I guess we’ll find out soon.

Snippet: The working theory among intelligence officials involved in the case is that the Russian approach—including hacking, propaganda, and contacts with Trump associates—was an improvisation rather than a long-standing plan.

Comment: Oh. That sort of undermines a lot of what you said earlier in this story and there’s still a lot of entirely unverified assumptions being made here. Whatever, what’s good for the New Yorker must be good for the country.