I don't know if anyone caught Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Larry King last night, but he ended his interview in a rather strange way. In a seeming attempt to pump up Larry, whose program is about to come off the air, Putin commented, "when shall we have a right to cry out, 'Long live the King!'".
See - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036789/...70094#40470094
What I'm sure almost every viewer accept maybe myself failed to recognize is that Putin was actually referring to himself, not Larry.
Recently a new book was published entitled, The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia's Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB, authored by Russian journalists Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan.
An essay appeared in Foreign Affairs magazine adopted from the book in September that opened as follows:
Thus, The New Nobility explains that Russia has transformed into an autocracy controlled by Russia's secret services since the collapse of communism and breakup of the Soviet Union. An intriguing feature of this new autocracy is the special relationship the new government has with the Russian Orthodox Church.In December 2000, Nikolai Patrushev, who had succeeded Vladimir Putin as director of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), gave an interview to mark the anniversary of the founding of the Cheka, the Bolshevik secret police. He described the FSB's personnel: "Our best colleagues, the honor and pride of the FSB, don't do their work for the money," he said. "They all look different, but there is one very special characteristic that unites all these people, and it is a very important quality: It is their sense of service. They are, if you like, our new 'nobility.'"
Over the last decade in Russia, the FSB, the modern successor to the Soviet secret police, the KGB, has been granted the role of the new elite, enjoying expanded responsibilities and immunity from public oversight or parliamentary control. The FSB's budget is not published; the total number of officers is undisclosed. But even cautious estimates suggest that the FSB employs more than 200,000 people. For ten years, Putin, a KGB and FSB veteran himself, has held power in the Kremlin as president and now prime minister. He has made the FSB the main security service in Russia, permitting it to absorb much of the former KGB and granting it the right to operate abroad, collect information, and carry out special operations.
From a 2007 RFERL article, "The Soft-Power Foundations Of Putin's Russia":
Thus, the once atheistic Kremlin is now fashioning itself as the Orthodox Christian capital of Russian autocracy. Well, another form of autocracy is a monarchy, i.e., a KINGDOM, and this, my friends, is where my central thesis regarding the rise of the Antichrist and a false kingdom of god in world history should be clear.KGB, Church Find Common Ground
One of the siloviki's most effective allies in this cultural counterrevolution has been the Russian Orthodox Church. During the Soviet period, the Orthodox Church and other religious groups were under the KGB's direct control. As Feliks Dzerzhinsky, founder of the original Soviet secret police wrote: "Leave the church to the chekisty. Only they, with their specific chekist methods, can control the clerics and undermine the church from within." That decision began the strange cohabitation of the church and the KGB, with the security agency using the church's authority to influence believers at home and abroad and the KGB using church foreign dioceses as fronts for operations abroad.
After Boris Yeltsin came to power, there was some discussion of exposing the clergymen who cooperated with the KGB, but that effort never got off the ground and was quickly shelved.
In Putin's Russia, the church plays a major ideological role. Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, who is the head of external relations for the Moscow Patriarchate, is a close Putin loyalist (and 'former' KGB agent). In a nationally televised sermon in 2005, Kirill said the reformers of the 1990s did not understand "that reform does not mean Westernization." A year later, the 10th World Congress of Russian People, an event organized by the Moscow Patriarchate, adopted a conception of a uniquely Russian vision of democracy and human rights, an idea that became a central tenet of the Kremlin's ideology of sovereign democracy. Speaking at the congress, Kirill said there are higher values than liberty and democracy and that the church rejects the idea that "human rights prevail over the interests of society." Patriarch Aleksy II repeated these ideas in October when he spoke from the pulpit of Notre Dame in Paris during his first-ever visit to a Catholic country.
A book published in 1987 written by Alexander Yanov entitled, The Russian Challenge and The Year 2000, predicted what we are new seeing in Russia. Here's a passage from page 236 that quotes Russian nationalist G.M. Shimanov and reveals the thinking of Moscow's intelligencia leading up to the collapse of Soviet Communism:
What's nightmarish about the 'great transformation of the world' that Yanov revealed Russia was planning in the late-1980s is how it meshes with Moscow's planned large-scale strategic deception of the West as forewarned about by key top-level defectors. Anatoliy Golitsyn, in his books New Lies For Old (1984) and The Perestroika Deception (1995) forecast with startling detail and accuracy the breakup of the Soviet Union and reorganization of Russia's relations with the West that has occurred over the last couple of decades. The problem is the Golitsyn was able to make his projections based upon his insight that it would all be a inherently misleading, a bald-faced Russian lie."Today the Soviet system can no longer seriously strive toward the spectre of Communism - but at the same time it cannot yet abandon the grandeur of its tasks, for otherwise it would have to answer for fruitless sacrifices which are truly innumerable. But in what then can the Soviet system find its justification? Only in the consciousness that it was unconsciously in the past, as it is now quite consciously, God's instrument for constructing a new Christian world. It has no other justification, and this is . . . a genuine and great justification. By adopting it, our state will discover in itself a truly inexhaustable source of Truth, spiritual energy and strength, which has never before existed in history . . . The old pagan world has now finally outlived its era . . . In order not to perish with it we must build a new civilization - but is Western society, whose foundations have been destroyed, really capable of this? Only the Soviet sytem, having adopted Russian Orthodoxy . . . is capable of beginning THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION OF THE WORLD." (emphasis in the original)
Regarding the KGB, in 1989 Golitsyn forecast:
Guess what?!An Improved, Reorganized KGB
One can expect tha the KGB will be converted into a new organization with a Western-style name The reorganization will be presented as a reduction of therole of the service in Soviet society. But, because of the KGB's crucial role in promoting 'perestroika' internally and abroad, the reorganization hould not be seen as a downgrading. Just as Dzerzhinskiy's hated Cheka was converted into the more powerful GPU, so will the successor organization to the KGB be more powerful than its predecessor.