Russia is not afraid to use its weapons of mass distraction
From President Putin’s speech to the Federal Assembly last Thursday:
There has been an increasing influx of money from abroad being used to intervene directly in our internal affairs. Looking back at the more distant past, we recall the talk about the civilising role of colonial powers during the colonial era. Today, ‘civilisation’ has been replaced by democratisation, but the aim is the same – to ensure unilateral gains and one’s own advantage, and to pursue one’s own interests. Some are not above using the dirtiest techniques, attempting to ignite inter-ethnic and inter-religious hatred in our multiethnic and democratic country. In this respect, I ask you to speed up the adoption of amendments to the law introducing stricter liability for extremist actions.
It’s good to know that Russia would never violate the sovereignty of another nation or seek to influence events there.
“Our opinion is that the Estonian government must resign. It is obvious that the government provoked the crisis and failed to cope with the unrest in which one person was killed,” Kovalyov said at a Moscow airport before departure to Estonia.
…or use its control of state-run media to drum up a hysteria in another country…
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet accused the Russian media of spreading “lies” and provoking the unrest. He pointed out what he said was misinformation in Russian language reports — including rumors that the memorial was sawed into pieces and that hundreds of ethnic Russians on Estonia’s police force had resigned. “It’s a complete lie,” he said. ….. Paet also criticized Russia for not adequately protecting the Estonian embassy in Moscow. “Russian authorities have done practically nothing to alleviate the situation and the conditions have only worsened,” he was quoted by the Baltic News Service as saying. “The embassy is attacked with rocks and paint. The access of Estonian citizens to the embassy has also been blocked,” he added. For three days running a large crowd of demonstrators, some wearing Red Army uniforms, has gathered outside the embassy in Moscow. Despite the harsh words, a group of Russian lawmakers was prepared to visit Tallinn on Monday to assess the situation with the war memorial, a statue known as the Bronze Soldier. “What is happening with the monument cannot be called anything else but a planned provocation,” said Nikolai Kovalyov, head of the veterans’ affairs committee at the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency. ….. Prime Minster Andrus Ansip appealed for calm, and decried the behavior of those who were rioting. “I’m sure that the hooligans’ attacks on everything we hold dear — our children’s’ safety, our memories, our homeland — will only further unite us,” Ansip said in a televised address late Saturday.