Sunday, September 6, 2015

Again and Again, Moscow ‘Systematically Destroys’ Those It Promises to Defend, Latynina Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 6 – “Russia in Besland and in Tskhinvali and in the Donbas systematically destroys those it has promised to defend and then afterwards says ‘forgive me, the terrorists did this,’” Yuliya Latynina says. But in most cases, this happens not as a result of a conspiracy but rather as a result of incompetence and a desire to avoid responsibility.

            In the lead segment of her “Access Code” program on Ekho Moskvy last night, the Moscow commentator says that the failure to pay much attention to the anniversary of Beslan is part of a general Russian failure to remember and examine “the enormous number of terrorist acts” in Russia (

            Invoking Napoleon, Latynina says that she never seeks to explain what happens by conspiracy when the absence of professionalism is enough, and at Beslan as well as at the site of many other terrorist incidents, “the level of our terrorists in general corresponds to the level of our police.”

            Or to put it another way, “the [Russian] special services do what they ascribe to the terrorists. They act like terrorists, and from this moment the present authorites lose the presumption of innocence because we know that they can kill their citizens and say that the terrorists did it.”

            Today, she continues, “we see the very same thing continuing in the Donbas,” and we see something else: the desire of the authorities from Putin on down to appear strong but to do everything they can to avoid taking any responsibility for what they do be it Putin’s turning his aircraft around in the case of Beslan or simply lying as in the case of Ukraine.

            And Putin’s doing that, Latynina says, sends a clear signal. Given his unwillingness to take responsibility, “all the rest run from responsibility as well.”  

            “In Beslan, the special services did what they ascribed to the terrorists: they blew up the sports hall. But it is important that this was a conspiracy not from a position of strength but from one of a complete lack of professionalism” and from a desire to avoid taking decisions or taking responsibility for them.

            Then and later, she says, no one especially planned to do what they did. Instead, they did what they did because it was the best way to avoid having to take responsibility. But as a result, people died and far more than would have occurred in the authorities had acted with greater professionalism.

            “Imagine a sick person lying on on operating table.” He has cancer, but “the surgeon instead of a scalpel uses a sledgehammer and does so without anesthesia.” The patient dies, but the doctor says “Forgive me, his cancer was all the same a death sentence.” "Perhaps," Latynina says, “but the ill man died as a result of the surgeon’s actions and not from cancer.”

            Of course, the surgeon, like the Russian force structures, has to hide that and thus convert any investigation into “a farce because it was about covering up the truth rather than finding it.” To do otherwise would require a recognition that Russia constantly “destroys those it has promised to help” and then blames the terrorists.

            “This is the system,” Latynina says. In the case of Ukraine, it involves both a conspiracy and incompetence because “the striving of the Kremlin to appear strong coincides with an effort to delegate decision making somewhere down the line,” an approach that guarantees more and bigger disasters ahead until all this is changed.

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