The Tired Soviet Ideology Behind Russian Propaganda

This week the Russian politician and Putin adviser Nikolay Patrushev gave an interview to the Russian magazine Argumenti i Fakti. Patrushev is an old hardline KGB officer, having served since the mid-1970s in Leningrad/St. Petersburg or in nearby areas of Russia bordering Finland. He was chosen as the head of the FSB (the successor to the KGB) when Putin moved on from there to be prime minister of Russia in 1998. Since 2008 he has been the secretary to the Russian Security Council, the rough equivalent of our National Security Council. In short, he is a tremendously important and influential Russian, possibly second only to Vladimir Putin himself. We should pay attention to what he says, if only to get ideas about the lies the Russian leadership is telling to the world and even to itself.  

During the interview Patrushev made some vague comments on the goals and possible end of Russia’s “special operation” (invasion) of Ukraine. He holds out no hope for a swift resolution. He insists that Russia is “not chasing deadlines” and that “all the goals set by the President of Russia will be fulfilled” without extra elaboration about what those goals might be, beyond eradicating “Nazism.” There are a few other interesting asides he makes about the perfidy of the U.S., how we funded al-Qaeda (this is part of a whataboutism response when asking about Russia potentially getting listed as a state sponsor of terrorism), and also an accusation that the Biden Foundation, the Soros Foundation, the Clinton Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation along with the Pentagon may have been behind the creation of COVID-19. He also tries to draw an equivalency between the Azov battalion and the Buffalo mass shooter. 

These are all recent iterations of old Russian anti-American talking points. The most interesting line of arguments in Partushev’s interview is about who he says is the ultimate enemy. Patrushev repeats several ideas that Putin has spoken about recently, specifically that 1) Ukraine is under “external control” by the ultimate Russian enemies, 2) the ultimate enemies of Russia are the “Anglo Saxons” who are implementing a neocolonial “golden billion” strategy, and 3) the “Anglo Saxons” are themselves controlled by a finance capital cabal, which is driving the aggressive policy of the West and Ukraine. 

He begins the interview by attacking the “Anglo Saxons”:

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