Russian Cossacks test their powers in Moscow street patrol

MOSCOW Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:56pm EST

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - By tradition, Cossacks protected Russia's borderlands, but on Tuesday descendants of the Tsarist warrior caste patrolled a patch of central Moscow as part of a resurgence encouraged by President Vladimir Putin.

A handful of men in high lambswool hats and epaulettes paced a slushy square around a major railway station, looking for illegal trade and other infractions in what they called a trial run for further patrols in the heart of the Russian capital.

While a few venders in a chilly underpass left when Cossacks approached, the patrol - unarmed and outnumbered by journalists - was uneventful for a group with a reputation as whip-wielding horseback warriors protecting frontiers from foreign threats.

But it was a sign of a Cossack revival that plays into Putin's calls for patriotism and his praise of Russian traditions - and which critics say aggravates the ethnic tension the president has struggled to keep under control.

"Our aim is very clear: we want there to be law and order in the capital, for people to live and work honestly and for crime to be punished," said Vladimir Timofeyev, who identified himself as a "Cossack colonel" and wore a green camouflage coat.

Moscow's central district administration and the Cossack affairs department released a statement saying Tuesday's patrol was the "personal initiative" of a Cossack leader. It also said Cossack patrols could begin on a official basis early next year.

The Cossacks cannot make arrests or check documents. They receive free public transport but no pay, city officials said.

Claiming descent from nomads and fugitives from serfdom who served tsars with their swords and lived in relative freedom on Russia's edges, Cossacks are symbols of Russian patriotism.

Their past is also colored by anti-Jewish pogroms in the tsarist era, and their nationalism is a volatile additive to tension between ethnic Russians and minorities in cities such as Moscow, where many migrants are Muslims from the North Caucasus and ex-Soviet republics in Central Asia.

"They will bring order and it's nice to look at them," Tatyana, a teacher who declined to give her last name, said as she entered the train station. "You remember the past, and it's all coming back - it's great."

Cossacks faced systematic killings and deportation at the hands of the communists following the Russian revolution, and have enjoyed a resurgence since the 1991 Soviet collapse.


Putin praised the Cossacks in an article published during his campaign for the March 2012 presidential election.

"The state's task is to help the Cossacks in every way, to attract them into military service and into the military and patriotic upbringing of young people," Putin said.

The use of Cossack patrols has been on the rise in recent months, both in outlying areas of Moscow as well as their historic heartland in the southern Russian steppe, adjacent to the heavily Muslim regions of the North Caucasus.

As many as 1,000 Cossacks took to patrolling streets in parts of the Krasnodar region, which borders the North Caucasus and includes Sochi, the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The Krasnodar patrols, created by regional governor Alexander Tkachev, help police intervene against crimes and check documents, but media speculated that could lead to racial profiling for migrants from the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Cossacks announced plans for patrols around churches in southeastern Moscow after punk group Pussy Riot belted out a vulgarity-laced "punk protest" in the capital's main Russian Orthodox cathedral, Christ the Saviour.

The head of the church, Patriarch Kirill, has told believers that Pussy Riot was part of an organized attack on Russia's main faith and what he called the moral foundations of the country.


Cossacks blocked the entrance to a Moscow art gallery exhibiting art depicting Pussy Riot last month, leading to a standoff with riot police called in to disperse them.

"This is not the first time that Cossacks are emerging as a conservative force ready to punish or warn those who from their point of view are acting improperly," said Maria Lipman, a political analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center.

Lipman said the higher Cossack profile was a product of a growing Kremlin reliance on conservative forces, such as the Russian Orthodox Church, to counter mostly liberal opponents who staged the biggest protests of Putin's 13-year rule over the past year, drawing demonstrators from the urban middle class.

"Because the protesters were modernized urbanites, the response was found in conservative morals and the government has shifted to a conservative stance," Lipman said, adding that this "deepens divisions in Russian society that have been latent up to this point."

Vladimir Morozov, a pensioner on his way in from the Moscow suburbs, agreed. He said Cossack patrols were "set against Pussy Riot" and could only increase ethnic tension.

"It's just support for Putin," he said.

Art student Nadezhda Irchishina saw no harm in the patrols - but little help, either.

"I think it's just for show," she said. "Crimes will simply be committed out of their line of sight."

Moscow police declined to comment on the Cossack patrols.

The Cossacks on patrol in Moscow said they are limited to verbal persuasion and summoning the police if they see a crime, but they hope that will change.

"When it is all legalised, we will have different powers," Gennady Tyshkov, a retired police officer in a crisp uniform, said with a smile.

(Additional reporting by Anastasia Gorelova and Mikhail Antonov; editing by Jason Webb)

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Comments (1)
DeanMJackson wrote:
“Like the Party, the Komsomol had increased its strength and widened its role in the support of the [Long-Term Deception Strategy] strategy. Its membership probably exceeds 40 million. The Party and Komsomol have close ties with the trade unions, the unions of creative workers and the 6 million vigilantes who assist the Ministry of the Interior and the militia in the policing of the population of the larger Soviet cities. Their existence and their role have been important factors rendering possible the introduction and control of Soviet ‘democratisation’.” — – KGB Defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn, The Perestroika Deception, September-November 1990, p. 123.

See where Golitsyn says, “…and the 6 million vigilantes who assist the Ministry of the Interior and the militia in the policing of the population of the larger Soviet cities.”

Well, ladies and gentlemen another prediction by KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn proved correct.

If the collapse of the USSR had been legitimate, the following obligatory actions would have taken place, as they always take place after political revolutions:

(1) Immediately after the “collapse” of the USSR high-ranking present and “former” Communist Party members within the various Federal government civilian/military/intelligence branches of the post Soviet republics were never arrested in the interests of national security:

Since there was no conquest that liberated the USSR, it would have been up to the people themselves to conduct the arrests to ensure the continuity of the freed state.

(2) Lower level Communist Party members within the 15 governments of the post USSR would have been immediately fired in the interests of national security:

The hated low-ranking CPSU members at all levels of government, who for 74 years persecuted the 90% of the population who were non-Communist, would have been fired from government positions, especially education. The freed Soviet public would then have requested assistance from the West to ensure critical services remained on-line until enough qualified freed Soviets could fill those positions.

(3) the Russian electorate these last 21 years have inexplicably only been electing for President and Prime Minister Soviet era Communist Party Quislings:

Presidents of Russia since 1991:

Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin – July 10, 1991 – December 31, 1999 – Communist.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin – 31 December 1999 – 7 May 2000 (Acting) and May 7, 2000 – May 7, 2008 – Communist.

Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev – May 7, 2008 – May 7, 2012, during his studies at the University he joined the Communist Party.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin – May 7, 2012 – Present, Communist:

Yeltsin and Putin would have been arrested in the interests of national security, while Medvedev would have been shunned by the newly freed Russians.

(4) there was no de-Communization program initiated after the “collapse” of the USSR to ferret out Soviet era Communist agents still in power:

The fact that there were no Allies in the freed USSR to carry out a de-Communization program, meant the freed Soviets would not only have had to take up that program themselves but ensure, unlike the German de-Nazification example in post war Germany, its effectiveness since:

(a) there was no occupation force to ensure the Communists weren’t still in power or could mount a violent comeback; and

(b) ) unlike the Nazis that persecuted minorities in Germany, and were not generally hated by the dominant society, in the USSR Communists were the hated minority who persecuted the majority.

(5) not one “crime against humanity” indictment of the thousands of criminals still alive who committed crimes on Soviet territory:

Even post Nazi Germany (West and East) convicted and imprisoned Nazi war criminals.

(6) the refusal of the Russian Navy to remove the hated Communist Red Star from the bows of vessels, and the refusal of the Russian Air Force to remove the Communist Red Star from the wings of Russian military aircraft, not to mention placing the hated Communist Red Star on all new Naval vessels and military aircraft:

To the ordinary Russian, the Communist Red Star was the symbol for the hated Communist regime that for 74 years persecuted the 90% of the nation who were non-Communist; and

(7) Lenin’s tomb still exists in Red Square:

Just as the people of Germany tore apart the Berlin Wall in 1989, so too the Russian people would have destroyed Lenin’s tomb on December 25, 1991. The 74-year persecution of the 90% non-Communist Russian population would have seen Lenin’s tomb destroyed.

In order to understand the World Communist threat to our liberties, one must understand Communist strategy:

“Lenin advised the Communists that they must be prepared to “resort to all sorts of stratagems, maneuvers, illegal methods, evasions and subterfuge” to achieve their objectives. This advice was given on the eve of his reintroduction of limited capitalism in Russia, in his work Left Wing Communism, an Infantile Disorder.

… Another speech of Lenin’s … in July 1921 is again highly relevant to understanding “perestroika.” “Our only strategy at present,” wrote Lenin, “is to become stronger and, therefore, wiser, more reasonable, more opportunistic. The more opportunistic, the sooner will you again assemble the masses round you. When we have won over the masses by our reasonable approach, we shall then apply offensive tactics in the strictest sense of the word.”

If you examine the backgrounds of prominent Russian figures, you will find that they have long Communist Party/ KGB or Komsomol pedigrees. Yet for some inexplicable reason, the Western media have accepted their sudden, orchestrated, mass “conversion” to Western-style norms of behavior, their endless talk of “democracy,” and their acceptance of “capitalism,” as genuine. “Scratch these new, instant Soviet “democrats,” “anti-Communists,” and “nationalists” who have sprouted out of nowhere, and underneath will be found secret Party members or KGB agents,” Golitsyn writes on page 123 of his new book [The Perestroika Deception]. In accepting at face value the “transformation” of these Leninist revolutionary Communists into “instant democrats,” the West automatically accepts as genuine the false “Break with the Past” — the single lie upon which the entire deception is based.

In short, the “former” Soviet Union — and the East European countries as well — are all run by people who are steeped in the dialectical modus operandi of Lenin. Without exception, they are all active Leninist revolutionaries, working collectively towards the establishment of a world Communist government, which, by definition, will be a world dictatorship.

It is difficult for the West to understand the Leninist Hegelian dialectical method — the creation of competing or successive opposites in order to achieve an intended outcome. Equally difficult for us to comprehend is the fact that these Leninist revolutionaries plan their strategies over decades and generations. This extraordinary behavior is naturally alien to Western politicians, who can see no further than the next election. Western politicians usually react to events. Leninist revolutionaries create events, in order to control reactions to them and manipulate their outcomes.” — William F Jasper, Senior Editor for The New American magazine.

You ask, what does Jasper mean when he says, “Leninist Hegelian dialectical method — the creation of competing or successive opposites in order to achieve an intended outcome”?

Simply explained, and on a tactical level, it’s called the “Scissors Strategy”, where one blade represents (for example) Putin & Company, however the other blade of the scissors–the leadership of the political “opposition” to Putin & Company–is actually controlled by Putin & Company*, which leaves the genuine opposition in the middle wondering why political change isn’t taking place. Understand this simple strategy?

On a strategic level, from 1960 – 1989 the USSR and China played the “Scissors Strategy”, by pretending to be enemies. This strategy allowed one side to play off against the other with the West, thereby gaining political advantages from the West, which neither Communist giant could have achieved if it was believed they were united. Clever, huh?

Nov 28, 2012 5:27am EST  --  Report as abuse
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