Putin's Personality Cult: The Real Vladimir Putin -- Career KGB Officer and Figurehead for a Vast Criminal Collective -- Is Disguised by the Kremlin Myth of His Popularity as a Pro-Western National Hero of Russia. (Russia)

By Grigg, William Norman | The New American, April 8, 2002 | Go to article overview

Putin's Personality Cult: The Real Vladimir Putin -- Career KGB Officer and Figurehead for a Vast Criminal Collective -- Is Disguised by the Kremlin Myth of His Popularity as a Pro-Western National Hero of Russia. (Russia)


Grigg, William Norman, The New American


The common notion that Communism is dead badly needs clarification," insists ex-KGB major Victor Sheymov, who defected to the United States in 1980. "The important part here is the definition of Communism. It cannot be viewed simply as a political movement. Communism is not an ideology, it is also a mentality, a mind-set that is still alive and well."

"Too many participants of the so-called 'Cold War' -- which sometimes took rather hot turns -- are still living," continues Sheymov. "My point here is that for some time the West will be dealing with those who were brought up within the communist system and are still driven by a communist mentality. Therefore, it is imperative to understand those people, who for at least three generations were raised in an atmosphere of hatred for the West."

It is important to understand that Sheymov's warnings do not apply to the Russian people in general, who are victims of the criminal conspiracy called Communism. Historically and culturally, Russia is part of the West, which would be immeasurably poorer without Russia's contributions to art, music, literature, and religious thought. Restoring Russia to its pre-Soviet stature would be a tremendous blessing, not only for that long-suffering nation, but for the West as well.

Since Black Tuesday, Western political and media figures have spared no effort to persuade the public that Russia has "rejoined the West" under Vladimir Putin's leadership. While true that Putin has not become a Gorbachev-magnitude political star in the West, opinion molders and policymakers have embraced him as a "genuine friend." The American public -- to the extent it is aware of Putin -- has a largely favorable impression of him as a reliable ally in the war on terrorism.

Because the KGB assembled the global terrorist networks that the U.S. is purportedly targeting in its open-ended war on terrorism, one might expect that informed Americans would have reservations about an alliance with Putin's regime. But the Kremlin's image-makers, with the help of our own Establishment media, have successfully re-packaged Putin -- a career KGB/FSB officer, son of a commando in Stalin's NKVD, and grandson of Stalin's personal cook -- into a Christian, pro-Western Russian patriot. This makeover began in Russia as part of a campaign to convince that nation's public that Putin and his KGB comrades were all that stood between them and vicious Chechen terrorists allied with Osama bin Laden.

The KGB's Coup

Shortly after becoming Russian prime minister, the Los Angeles Times reported, Putin told a group of his KGB associates, "a group of FSB colleagues dispatched to work undercover in the government has successfully completed its first mission." Those remarks were made during a celebration of "Security Organs Day" on December 20th, an annual commemoration marking the creation of the Soviet Cheka secret police in 1917.

While the Times insisted that Putin's remark was "intended to be funny," it prompted a less than mirthful response from critics of Russia's secret police. "The KGB has risen from the ashes and come to power in Russia," states Sergei Grigory-ants, who was repeatedly arrested by the KGB during the 1970s and 1980s and served nine years in prison for criticizing the Soviet regime. "It is the logical outcome of the process that has been unfolding for the past decade."

Putin's ascent to the pinnacle of Russian politics came through appointment, rather than by election. Boris Yeltsin tapped Putin to serve as prime minister in August 1999, and he became acting Russian president on New Year's Day following Yeltsin's resignation.

This amounted "to a coup d'etat, although one that currently enjoys popular approval," declared liberal commentator William Pfaff in the January 10, 2000 International Herald Tribune. …

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