Voices from Russia

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Guess Which Country is the Undisputed Champion in Election Meddling?



With the entire “Russia interfered in US democracy” story collapsing, Jimmy Dore reminded us which country is the undisputed champion in election meddling. The Carnegie Mellon University study does NOT even include coups and attempts at régime change. The study just counts when the USA tried directly to influence an election for one of the sides. Imagine the results if we added coups, régime change operations, invasions, sanctions, and bombings to the final tally. Here’s a transcript of an NPR interview on the matter:


This is hardly the first time a country tried to influence the outcome of another country’s election. By one expert’s count, the USA did it, too, more than 80 times worldwide between 1946 and 2000. That expert is Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University. I asked him to tell me about one election where US intervention likely affected the outcome.


One example of that was our intervention in Serbia (then, Yugoslavia), in the 2000 election there. Slobodan Milošević was running for re-election, and we didn’t want him to stay in power due to his tendency to disrupt the Balkans and his human rights violations (sic). Therefore, we intervened in various ways for the opposition candidate, Vojislav Koštunica. Moreover, we gave funding to the opposition, and we gave them training and campaigning aide. In addition, according to my estimate, that assistance was crucial in enabling the opposition to win.


How often are these interventions public versus covert?


Basically, about one-third of them are public and two-thirds of them are covert. In other words, the voters in the target don’t know before the election.


Your count doesn’t include coups or attempts at régime change. Depending on the definitions, it sounds like the tally could actually be much higher.


You’re right. I didn’t count and discounted covert coup d’états like the USA did in Iran in 1953 or in Guatemala in 1954. I only counted when the USA tried directly to influence an election for one of the sides. I didn’t discuss other types of interventions. However, if we include those, then, of course, the number could be larger.


For example, how often do other countries like Russia try to alter the outcome of elections as compared to the USA?


Well, for my dataset, the USA is the most common user of this technique. Since 1945, Russia or the USSR used it half as much. My estimate is 36 cases between 1946 to 2000. We know that the Chinese used this technique; the Venezuelans used it when the late Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías was in power, and other countries used it, too.


Arguably, the USA is more vocal than any other country about promoting democracy and democratic values around the world. Does this strike you as conflicting with that message?


It depends upon if we help the pro-democratic side (sic), as in the case of Milošević that I talked about earlier. I believe that’d be helpful for democracy. If it helps less-nicer candidates or parties, then, naturally, it can be less helpful.


Obviously, your examination of 20th-century attempts to influence elections doesn’t involve hacking because computers weren’t widespread until recently.


That’s true.


In your view, is technology dramatically changing the game… as we saw in the November election? On the other hand, is this just the latest evolution of an effort that always used whatever tools are available?


I’d say it’s more the latter. Before, without cyber-hacking tools, I’d say that the Russians or the Soviets infrequently did these types of intervention because one had to use old-style methods such as people meeting in the park in secret giving out and getting information and things like that.

23 April 2017

Alex Christoforou

The Duran



Friday, 27 March 2015

Lavrov Sez West Must Pay Attention to Ultranationalist Sentiment in the Ukraine

00 Lavrov. Can Russia use abstract and moralistic language. 27.03.15


On Thursday, Minister of Foreign Affairs S V Lavrov said during a press conference at the end of his visit to Guatemala, commenting on junta soldiers stating that they should murder Russian OSCE mission employees, “In any case, such threats against Russian OSCE mission employees demonstrate that ultranationalist sentiment has penetrated the armed forces. In my opinion, the OSCE mission, the European countries, and all Western states that favour the Ukrainian authorities must pay the closest attention to it, as we’ve paid attention to this threat a long time ago”. Lavrov said that we must hold all those who make such statements accountable. Repeatedly, Moscow raised concern over Ukrainian Far Right elements, trying to draw attention of the UN, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe to the issue. Lavrov pointed up, “Now, we should direct all efforts at restoring the political process under the Minsk agreements. There’s an obvious slowdown on Kiev’s side”. Lavrov added that the junta doesn’t recognise the leaders of the LNR and DNR as real partners in the negotiations, whilst Moscow insists that the Contact Group should intensify its work, saying, “Kiev said it agreed, but in reality it sought to slow down the process, only in the past days has there been some progress”.

27 March 2015

Sputnik International


Thursday, 26 March 2015

Russia to Consider Training First Guatemalan Cosmonaut

00 russian cosmonaut. 26.03.15


On Thursday, Minister of Foreign Affairs S V Lavrov said that Moscow would consider a request for a Guatemalan cosmonaut to undergo training in Russia, saying at a joint press conference with his Guatemalan counterpart Carlos Morales, “We received a request to consider whether a Guatemalan cosmonaut could  come to a training centre in Russia. Of course, we’d consider this request”. Lavrov added that Guatemala made the request to the Russian Federal Space Agency, which will consider it alongside other countries participating in the International Space Station project.

26 March 2015

Sputnik International



Why is the American space programme lying in the dust, so much so that American cosmonauts have to hitch rides on Russian spacecraft to the ISS? It’s because of Republican wars and Republican tax giveaways to the Affluent Effluent. Thank you, Ted Cruz! That’s what the Republicans have brought the USA to… NASA now has to beg Russia to let Americans go into space. Note well that Russia is far more generous than the greedster Anglo Americans are. Just sayin’…


Saturday, 9 August 2014

9 August 2014. You Can’t Make Up Shit Like This… California Man gets Death Threats for Hosting Refugee Family: “They’re Going to Kill My Family”

00 personhood. cartoon. republican. 09.08.14


A California businessman received death threats ever since he took in a family of refugees because the city of Murrieta refused to help them. Mark Lane told KGTV that he was moved to help a family fleeing violence in Guatemala after his 5-year-old son asked him why residents in Murrieta were blocking buses of refugees from entering their town. Lane explained, “He asked me why the people were mad at the buses and I was like, it’s 2014 … why do I have to explain to my 5-year-old why people are mad at the buses when really they’re mad at the people inside of the buses ’cause they’re brown”. Through Border Angels, Lane found a mother, teenage sons, and a 23-year-old daughter who fled violence in Guatemala when gangs threatened to kill one of the sons for not joining. During the long journey through Mexico riding on top of trains, the daughter suffered multiple rapes, and thieves stole everything the family owned. Lane recalled, “When they came to our house, they were scared. We had two extra rooms, but they didn’t want to be separated, so they all piled into one room”.

After the word got out that he was hosting the family, someone created a Facebook page to organise a boycott of his business, Poppa’s Fresh Fish Company in Logan Heights. One commenter wrote, “Mark Lane needs a serious beating in front of his customers. But then he serves crap food. His establishment is rat infested and smells like raw sewage!” The site administrator had to take down the page after he received a cease and desist order, but that didn’t stop the threats. Lane noted, “Now, we’re getting death threats. They’re going to kill me. They’re going to kill my family. They think it’s OK for them to now threaten my life. They put my kids and my wife’s picture on their hate sites, not even the Mafia does that”. Lane said that the threats might have backfired; his business is booming thanks to all the attention. He insisted, “I’m not going to stop helping families. When this family leaves, the next family that comes through immigration… our house is open”.

7 August 2014

The Raw Story



You can believe in Jesus™ or you can believe in the Lord Christ. The Lord Christ would praise Mark Lane… Jesus™ would praise his detractors. Any questions?


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