Wednesday 4 April 2018

Political Maskirovka in action

It was all going so well for the Prime Minister, hubris is funny thing.

Today, the FCO are having to delete tweets that said Porton Down had identified the Novichock agent as having come from Russia.

Russia, unsurprisingly, are having much fun with this. Indeed, the whole incident has been treated with humorous contempt by Russia from the get go. I was so reminded of the excellent documentary by Adam Curtis on Vladislav Surkov, the shadowy aide of Putin.

In Russia, Surkov plays a masterly game, using mainly the broadcast media and internet, the game is played of bigging up celebrities to be politicians then dropping them, backing the hard right, then alternately attacking the hard right, assassinating journalists and enemies at will, making up tax charges to seize property and arrest opponents at will. Overseas, since Surkov was appointed as Ukraine and Crimea advisor, the Russians managed to seize Crimea with unbadged troops and pretend they were not invading Ukraine, as they invaded Ukraine. They claimed they had not shot down a Dutch airliner with their missiles, even as footage of the missile and reaction of the launch crew was broadcast to the world.

The Maskirovka strategy has a long history in Russia and a very successful one. Indeed, the Germans noted they had destroyed every division the Russian army had listed in 1941 and were unable to explain the giant army that still existed in front of them.

So with all this history, I just can't believe the naivety of our UK press today, making out that Russia has scored some huge victory because they can twist a few words spoken by  a Porton Down scientist. This is what Putin's Russia does, lie, disseminate and confuse. Their own people, the world, probably even themselves.

In recent years they have added computer hacking and twitter/facebook trolls to their arsenal of deceit. Yet, it is all out in the open this strategy, recognised for what it is- this is how PM May got such massive support in the first place after the Salisbury attack. Russia has a long history of assassinating its own people at will and the Salisbury attack is prima facie part of their wider assassination programme, with tens of other unexplained deaths in the UK alone.

The UK needs to quickly challenge this current maskirovka with its own truth based version to our own Media, to date we have ignored the Russian game with some success, but the media being populated by naïve idiots means this strategy is not guaranteed to continue with much success going forward.


Scan said...

From a list of strong contenders, by far the worst part of May's term as Prime Minister is her press/PR team. Totally incapable/unwilling to bat back the most ludicrous and incorrect propaganda from other parties and the perpetually wailing classes; and when they do try to get on the offensive they display precisely why they have spent the vast majority of their time keeping quiet.

The baffling thing is why no-one has pointed out this major failing to the Conservative party.

Electro-Kevin said...

"...going forward" Aaaargh ! Didn't we have this conversation a couple of posts back ?

On topic:

I suggested that we should have accepted Putin's denial and changed certain Russian facing policies on defence and energy.

And taken on the Swampies while we're at it.

A prima facie case for sure but then I'm not proposing inaction either. Just not outright confrontation.

MAD no longer applies btw. Neither the US nor Russian President are the most stable of their office.

Anonymous said...

"the FCO are having to delete tweets that said Porton Down had identified the Novichock"

Having to delete.

If they 'have' to delete them, that's because they were incorrect.

Otherwise, they didn't have to delete them.

CityUnslicker said...

Anon - they were incorrect, because you cannot ever prove a chemical was made in a one place - they don't come with bar codes and RFID tags.

Playing along with this into somehow absolving Russia because of a small error in how information was conveyed, is playing into Maskirovka.

EK - I wasn't here, soz!

Sobers said...

It would help when the politicians stop shooting their mouths off with obvious lies to public. We've all heard enough bollocks from politicians of all hues to question anything they say. And stop asking us to 'trust them' based on 'secret information' that we mere proles are not allowed to see. I wouldn't trust the word of a politician (or indeed a civil servant) one jot, they all lie to the public to further their own agendas and save their own faces.

BlokeInBrum said...

Precisely, the problem for the average prole is that the typical politician or civil servant is held in even lower esteem than the Russians.
Given the choice of who to believe, it's very difficult in good conscience to pick our own government.

Sobers said...

"[Russia} are, have and always will be our enemy."

I thought that was France?

Bill Quango MP said...


Recent modern military historians, examining the cold war, have had, since the collapse of the USSR , a chance to examine the actual order of battle and equipment and readiness of the Red Army.
One study of the 1985 Red Army discovered that of the four, super-elite, much feared, airborne divisions of the USSR, Two never actually existed.
And one was always in Afghanistan. as ground troops mostly. The Soviet conscripts being so poor that first line troops were always required.

Two of their elite divisions, that were under round the clock surveillance because these guys were the tip of tip of the spear. The first strike of the first strike, didn't exist except as Maskirovka.

The Russians were and are the very best at camouflage and deception.

{Also it was discovered in the archives that the Soviets suffered perhaps twice their stated war dead of 15,000 in Afghanistan in the 9 year conflict.
The USA in 16 years, has 2400 dead.
The Soviet shot down and destroyed aircraft totals are in the hundreds. It really was the USSR's Vietnam. Worth remembering that. It was a very big defeat.
Putin's strengthening of Russian military and national pride restoration are popular partly just to wipe away the memory of such a defeat.}

Graeme said...

Is this at all credible? I don't remember hearing about it at the time

Basically the Germans faked an undercover delivery of plutonium from Russia to embarrass them and give an entry into Russian intelligence. I can't find any English sources other than odd blogs

Anonymous said...

BQ - the aircraft/choppers were shot down with Stinger missiles supplied by the Great Satan, who also, aided by Mrs Thatcher, armed the Islamist militias which became the Taliban.

How did that all work out for us?

Nearly 30 years later we are in Afghanistan, and losing - and that's without Russia and China arming the bad guys/valiant rebels as we did.

All this "Russia" crap is because our global elites are pooing themselves about "populism" i.e the kind of policies which Attlee or Eisenhower would have been completely at ease with but which are now verboten as far as our opinion-forming class are concerned.

They are banking on being able to make us hate Russia more than we hate them. I hope this gamble fails.

Thud - Russia broke Napoleon and broke Hitler - and in WW1 it broke itself to save Paris.

Being at the other end of Europe, its concerns should be very similar to ours. They're a natural ally.

There are millions of young Slavic guys in the UK now - but none of them have snow on their boots. Tony Blair invited them in.

"I ain't got nuthin' against them Russians. No Russian ever called me deplorable"

Anonymous said...

Well if fighting on our side in BOTH world wars makes Russia "enemies then enemies still", I dread to think what your attitude to Germany is.

Russia (and Putin) is no threat to me, my way of life, or to the life-chances of my children. I wish I could say the same about May, Juncker and Merkel.