When it comes to having a proverbial “bad guy” on the world’s stage, no one seems to fit the unspoken parameters better than Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
Putin is the current “President of the Russian Federation”, a distinctly nuanced title that belies his unquenchable thirst for power. In fact, Putin himself has been dwelling in the upper atmosphere of Russian politics for nearly two decades, having secured a number of specific titles that allowed the ex-KGB asset to maintain power long past what would otherwise be considered acceptable.
According to Wikipedia’s fairly straightforward assessment of the Moscow Madman’s recent career moves, Putin “is a Russian politician serving as President of the Russian Federationsince 7 May 2012, previously holding the position from 2000 until 2008. He was Prime Minister of the Russian Federation from 1999 until 2000, and again from 2008 until 2012. During his second term as Prime Minister, he was the chairman of the ruling United Russia party.“
That is certainly an impressive resumé as it currently stands, but there is absolutely no doubt that this isn’t the end of Putin’s power-grabbing. Just this week it became apparent that Putin would, once again, be “elected” as the President of Russia.
“But it doesn’t look like the 65-year-old former KGB spy needs any help as the final poll shows him poised to win with a landslide 69 per cent of the vote.
“Mr Putin appeared to know it from the start as he put in very little effort during the campaign, refusing to debate opponents using archival footage in all his ads.
“His main opponent opposition leader Alexei Navalny has also been banned from standing against Putin after being convicted of fraud – charges he says were trumped up. Many observers claim the election is rigged.”
Just how rigged are Putin’s results? That has been the subject of countless investigations over the years, but, given the powerful leader’s unwillingness to cede power, there few doubts that something is afoot in former USSR. Just take a gander at the sheer amount of force that Russian election officials are counting on in order to keep the peace on Sunday.
“Over 17,000 police officers will ensure order in Moscow during the presidential election this Sunday, the press service of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Moscow directorate said Tuesday.
“‘To ensure the order and security of citizens at the polling places, over 17,000 policemen will be deployed in Moscow along with representatives of the Russian National Guard, private security organizations, militia, and public associations,’ the statement read.”
In fact, only one candidate out of the seven who are looking to dethrone Putin seems to have any shot at all, and that is due to her own air of celebrity…not any sort of political prowess.
“Ksenia Sobchak has seen every side of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, from the benefits of being a protected friend to the dangers of opposing the Kremlin. Now, as she runs for president against Mr. Putin – in a bid that has split the country’s political opposition ahead of Sunday’s election here – many Russians are wondering which side she really stands on now.
“Ms. Sobchak was once the party-girl face of the prosperity that Mr. Putin delivered, with help from sky-high oil prices, in the early 2000s. Boosted by a personal connection to the President – her father was Mr. Putin’s political mentor – Ms. Sobchak hosted her own reality-TV show and was a fixture on the cover of magazines, including the local edition of Playboy. She was dubbed, and dismissed as, the Paris Hilton of Russia.
“Then she turned against her patron. In 2011, as tens of thousands of Muscovites took to the streets to protest a fraudulent election – chanting, ‘Russia without Putin!’ – Ms. Sobchak joined them. She began using her celebrity to criticize Mr. Putin’s authoritarianism and became the journalistic face of TV Rain, an independent station fiercely critical of the Kremlin.”
Even with her constant need to push the boundaries of fashion eyewear, experts believe that Putin’s grip on the Russian nation will continue long past Sobchak’s flash-in-the-pan candidacy.
So, as Putin stares down another victory, this time with 69% of the vote and against seven candidates, the world is collectively sighing and rolling their eyes. Well, except for the British, who are attempting to pin the recent, mysterious death of an ex-Russian spy on the Putin regime.
“The mysterious deaths of up to four Russians or people with links to Moscow could be reinvestigated after a former double agent and his daughter were poisoned, the Home Secretary has said.
“The poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, has cast a new light on more than a dozen allegedly suspicious cases linked to Russia.
“Former Met Police commissioner Lord Blair and Yvette Cooper, Labour chairwoman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, have called for a fresh police investigation into 14 deaths in the UK.
“Amber Rudd has said there was no new evidence in those cases, but some could be looked at again following the probe into the attempted murder of the Skripals.”
This move has sparked a war of words between British Prime Minister Theresa May and imminent Russian dictator Putin.
“The Prime Minister told MPs that the highly dangerous substance used in the attack was a military-grade Novichok nerve agent produced by Russia.
“She set a deadline of midnight on Tuesday for Moscow to explain whether it was behind the attack or had lost control of its stockpile of the poison. Failure to provide a ‘credible’ response would lead her to view the incident as ‘an unlawful use of force by the Russian State against the United Kingdom’, sparking unspecified measures in reprisal.”
Putin, like any good up-and-coming dictator, doesn’t take kindly to threats.
“The ultimatum has sparked World War 3 fears as Whitehall sources revealed the Prime Minister could launch a cyber attack on Russia in the wake of recent events.
“It is thought Britain might target Kremlin propaganda machines, with Whitehall sources suggesting the UK will up the ante on its offensive cyber programme.
“But the Russian embassy in the UK has hit back at the ultimatum and warned Mrs May against ‘punitive measures’.
“In a further blunt warning to the Prime Minister, Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova added nobody should threaten a nuclear power, according to the nation’s the state-run RIA news agency.”
So, to sum this all up, Russia is not only about to have its election stolen by Vladimir Putin, (an expected and repetitive maneuver), but, after Putin’s regime murdered a former spy and got caught, the natural response was to threaten Britain with nuclear war.
And, as if to emphasize their point, the Russian military announced plans this afternoon that sent chills down the spine of global leaders.
“A top Russian General announced on Tuesday that Russia’s military will conduct a second test of its new, most powerful nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile amid rising tensions with NATO.
“‘The first launch of this missile took place at the end of December last year. At the moment preparations are in full swing at the Plesetsk cosmodrome for another pop-up test,’ Russian General Valery Gerasimov told state-run media, referring to testing the missile’s systems used to eject from its silo as a ‘pop-up’ test.”
The Satan 2, as the name suggests, could be a world-ending device, according to experts, with its ability to carry up to 16 individual nuclear warheads. In lieu of portions of that payload, the missile itself may also be able to carry countermeasures that would allow the projectile to evade detection and or interception.
Meanwhile, in the United States, however, a new fight over Russian international interference is heating up, as congressional republicans have revealed the findings of their own investigation into the democratic conspiracy theory surrounding the 2016 election of Donald Trump.
Namely, the GOP’s investigation into the matter has ended, finding absolutely no evidence of collusion between Russia and the Donald Trump campaign, usurping the still ongoing democratic version of the investigation.
“House Intelligence Committee Republicans say they have found no evidence that President Donald Trump and his affiliates colluded with Russian officials to sway the 2016 election or that the Kremlin sought to help him, a conclusion at odds with Democrats’ takeaways from the congressional panel’s year-long probe and the apparent trajectory of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
“The findings are part of a 150-page draft report that Rep. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, who oversees the committee’s Russia probe, announced on Monday. It will probably be weeks before the document is made public.
“’We’ve found no evidence of collusion,’ Conaway told reporters Monday. He noted that the worst the panel uncovered was ‘perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings, inappropriate judgment at taking meetings’ – such as a June 2016 gathering at Trump Tower in New York City between members of the Trump campaign and a Russian lawyer. Conaway said that meeting ‘shouldn’t have happened, no doubt about that.’”
The democratic cheerleaders in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s corner seem to disagree, predictably, and have indicated that they will continue to seek evidence of Russian meddling within the 2016 election until such a time as they are ousted from their positions.