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A Real Kremlin Troll Story by an FSB Colonel

FSB Lt. Colonel Stanislav Stankevich if the elite anti-terrorist unit "Alpha"
FSB Lt. Colonel Stanislav Stankevich if the elite anti-terrorist unit "Alpha" receives a commendation from Army General Sergey Smirnov, First Deputy Director of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation

The story you are about to read was written by a very good friend I met while researching the truth on the current anti-Russia crisis inflicted on our world. To be honest I had no idea of the real role former Lt. Colonel Stanislav Stankevich played in North Ossetia. When first I met him online I only new he was bright, honest, and knowledgeable where Russia and conflict were concerned. Later on Stan helped me fill in some of the blanks media in the west so often left out. And more importantly, we grew to be trusted friends. I asked Stan to jot down some things that I might include in my upcoming book on so-called Kremlin Trolls, and now you can share in my positive surprise at what he emailed me. You want to know the character of real "Putin fans"? 

At some stage, any person thinks about the meaning of his life and often finds this meaning in the struggle for what he believes. For example, in preventing new wars and creating a just world in which there is a place for any people, nation, religion, a way of life.

What are the wars for? - In order to satisfy the commercial interests of individuals who have no homeland, no soul, no conscience, and all their actions in this world assessing by the mathematical attitude of the profits to risk.

Any president, king, or even a dictator depends on the opinion of his people. In a democratic society, deputies and parliamentarians are also forced to rely on the opinion of the electorate, and no decision on war can be taken without the participation of the people. After all, those who go to war with weapons in their hands or send their children to it must support such a decision, or soon they will oppose those who sent them.

How do modern wars begin? - First, an image of the evil enemy is created, and for this everything that is associated with the opponent is painted in dark colors, he is shown unpredictable and bloodthirsty. At the same time, access to information that could break this idyllic picture is blocked. After a while, one can bravely start a war in which there will have support and sacrifice of the people who do not even guess about real goals of this war.

How the USSR Lost the Cold War

In the Soviet Union and in the United States in the late 1940s to early 1990s, this mechanism for creating an image of an enemy worked well. The USSR had many advantages over the United States, but there were also many cons. Hollywood and Mosfilm created terrible movies from their opponents on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Capitalists brought up in the laws of the market successfully sold Hollywood movies and Coca-Cola in beautiful tins all around the world, while the USSR could not boast of its information goods with its Spartan, calm, multinational and traditional philosophical way of life. Against this background, Gorbachev betrayed all information positions of his country. - The Soviet Union suddenly became a villain even in the eyes of its citizens, but at the same time, everything that was done in the West became an example of humanity, justice, success and role models.

The peoples of the former USSR rushed into the arms of the brothers from the US and Europe, who brought them light and a loaf with a traditional Russian outlet, called a "hamburger." We had bread loafs with cutlets before, even more healthy and tasty, but could these meal compare with those in a beautiful packaging imposed on us in outlandish advertising?

McDonald's in Soviet times

It took years, famine, wars and the disgrace of predatory privatization (the initial accumulation of capital, as Karl Marx would say) so that people would wake up and realize that they are still at war with the enemy who has the goal of destroying their state, the nation and the people, seizing wealth and territory of the country. And the most horrible and insulting thing is that the citizens of the USSR, by their own naivety and stupidity, turned their lives into humiliation and shame with elements of despair, allowed the crooks to seize power over themselves, and a handful of scammers to steal their people's wealth during privatization.

Just think, the peoples of the USSR as children were meeting the American brothers, and now they hear in the new Hollywood movies and media interviews the bragging of the heroes about the US victory in the Cold War. Americans even issued a medal with the appropriate title, which, of course, was awarded to Mikhail Gorbachev.

Former President of the United States Ronald Reagan awards Gorbachev the first ever Ronald Reagan Freedom Award at the Reagan Library, 1992

In any case, the position of the USSR in the information war was weaker than the position of the United States. During the entire period of the Cold War, the Soviet State blackened the enemy, and was also forced to prevent the penetration of information from the West into the country's territory, including suppressing the of broadcasts of “Voices”, not letting its citizens abroad, and, in the end, USSR has lost.

The Turning-point

Putin: "Who does not regret the collapse of the USSR, he does not have a heart. And the one who wants to restore it in its former form, does not have a head. "

But, what do we have now? As in any war the USSR was waging in its territory, we retreated long and painfully, bearing heavy losses and gaining experience and strength. From the beginning of the 2000s, the situation began to change dramatically. We saw a path that could be taken in the creation of a new state, if we did not submit to another's will. We understood that could absorb all the best from the West, integrate into the world community without humiliation, wars, human sacrifices and the disintegration of a great country, which became the greatest tragedy for millions of people in the entire former Union.

The 21st century came - the information age. We suddenly realized and accepted for the rule that information no longer knows the boundaries, and the Internet does not allow to continue to live, dividing the world into zones of information influence.

Previously, politicians did not bother to explain to the people the reasons for their decisions - they limited themselves to simplified versions that left many delicate nuances in the background. Now these invented simple versions immediately fall under the stream of criticism from the other side, are being questioned, broken, and, finally, turning against the one who invented them.

Previously, the state could poke a finger at a neighbor, condemn it, say that it must be punished and get support for its actions. It does not work anymore. And it will never work again. But it seems that while the US State Department is still trying to understand this, Russia skillfully uses the new information landscape to achieve tactical advantages.

Vladimir Putin, from the first days of his work as President of Russia, understood that it was necessary to clarify his decisions, not to lie and not to leave the answers. A few years later, his open style of communication and many hours of speaking to journalists on the air have become a norm. He is friendly to many opponents, because he is not afraid to tell the truth. He is free in his decisions, because he can hear and agree with the opposition without prejudice to his image, as he can discuss his decisions publicly from the point of benefits for the people even complicated for understanding.

A good leader is not one who is always right, but one who created a system that unites different people who think differently and have a wide variety of competencies and experience around a single goal. It is in the variety of thoughts surrounding us that we develop sound ideas that can improve our lives. I vote in the election for Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, because the system he created allows Russian citizens to disagree with the government, to think in the way they want, and at the same time feel protected, to be a part of this society working for the benefit of own family and own country.

Comparing how elections in the US and Russia are held, what unimaginable and hypocritical claims the loser party makes to the new American president and our country, I understand that over the past three decades, Russia has become the leader of democratic freedoms, leaving the US far behind. And all the hysteria of the media and officials in the West look like a babble of an offended schoolboy who can no longer be considered the best in the class. I would like this schoolboy to draw conclusions and begin to pull himself up to excellent classmates, and not once came to school with a .223 caliber, indiscriminately shooting pupils and teachers.

Stanislav at a reception with Vladimir Putin It was a day after Nord-Ost operation in 2002

This terrible Russian propaganda

War and politics are dirty work, and, as one of my little friend, said, "The princesses go to the toilet too." I am far from thinking that our policy is an exception to the rules, and it smells with flowers, but when reading the English-language and Russian-language press, everyone can notice that, in actual fact, Russia's actions are stronger, more honest and more humane, then often the foul-smelling newsbreaks from the transatlantic " The bulwark of democracy".

The main thing that catches the eye is that Russia looks in all the media like a country living under the international law, in accordance with the arrangements, and the US increasingly manifests itself as a hooligan, a madcap, who violates the rules established by him, because now those roles increasingly prevent them.

In order not to lie, you have to be decent. Previously, politics needed to walk in expensive suits, make a smart face and not catch the eye of journalists, while having fun in expensive brothels. And now, in the age of Assange and WikiLeaks, one should behave well, even when no one seems to see it. Western politicians are not ready for this. Most of them are still trying to hide or veil the reasons for their decisions, they express their opinions in the public and take actions that they really disagree with.

Russian media are often accused of bias. Can someone else believe in free journalism that does not depend on the roles of the market? It would be strange if the news agencies funded by State or any other party focused on judgments of the opponents.

At the same time, Russian media have an advantage over their Western counterparts. For a long time the Russian press has not hesitated to cover the opposite point of view, to submit hot, even unpleasant news on the pages of federal publications in order to take the initiative into their own hands, telling about the opponent's position with the simultaneous opposition of his own. At the same time, the journalist is given a chance to disclose his opinion in all variegated colors - that is what I see, what surprises and delights me as a reader.

Therefore, I personally am more impressed by the position of Russian media than the New York Post or the Wall Street Journal, which print a one-sided delusion, calculated that the consumer of information will never see the arguments of opponents. In one studio or one Russian federal edition, I can find out everything that concerns the issue, without resorting to studying the sites of opponents in order to clarify the whole picture.

Although, in all honesty, I am pretty tired of seeing every evening on Russian federal channels the dominance of Ukrainian and American political scientists.

I would like to dwell on the CNN channel, which the US people consider almost the main friend and lawyer of Russia. The abbreviation CNN stands for the Cable News Network, but the familiar Americans since the time of the Soviet Union have been deciphering this name with humor as the Communist News Network. In fact, I would compare CNN with our "Echo of Moscow", but CNN is much more modest in its oppositional judgments than its Russian counterpart. Let me express my opinion that for Russia to have such a friends as CNN anyway, is like to have a gay cobber. You never know when, and why he makes you blush.

Stan and his daughters Natasha and Dasha a few years ago

Russians and Americans, what makes us different?

I tried to find out through reading the threads of discussion in social networks, who mostly call to wars and to crusades in the US and in Russia? – These who know about the war only by hearsay. I do not take into account those who harbor personal grievances, earn in war, or both, as a pilot John McCain shot down by Soviet soldiers in Korea. I do not take into account those who are already under threat of destruction - the people of Yemen, Syria, the East of Ukraine as well.

Communicating with my friends Americans and British in social networks, I concluded that veterans on both sides of the ocean who were holding weapons on the battlefield, who understand the whole black warfare essence, are always ready to defend their country and loved ones, they frightfully routinely hold their guns under the pillows and pray for never having to use them in combat. Paradoxically, even when we are on different sides of the barricades, we find a common language with each other faster than many others people.

Although there is the difference also. We have fundamentally different upbringing - We in Russia are shameless and straightforward, they are polite and discreet. We perceive our combat experience as a collective work, while they do like a competition of individuals. Our professionals do not tell, especially publicly about how the villains were killed, because they perceive this as a forced measure, evil, and the Americans veterans regularly tell about their murders, are proud of this. If we traditionally preach indulgent attitude towards the defeated enemy, then the Internet is full of photos from Abu-Grave, stories of mockeries of prisoners of war, contempt for the lives of civilians as a collateral damage. It's understandable, we were brought up on the movie "They fought for their country", and Americans grew up with Sylvester Stallone as Vietnam Green Beret “Rambo”, John J.

But Americans do not consider themselves villains. They also have kindness and humanity, and we have much in common, which should unite us rather than disunite. We are afraid only of those whom we do not understand.

Many Russians see Americans as unintentional children in whose house there was no trouble, who are fighting by proxies, capable of unleashing hostilities against any country, nuke hundreds of thousands as it was in Japan, or overthrow any government, neither considering state sovereignty nor a choice of citizens of any country, as soon as they see the interests of the United States and the permissible degree of risk.

So, you ask, where does the entire human being lost in them then? - The answer is simple: No one gives a name to the food. We do not think about the hard fate of the cow, considering beef on the counter. We only think about the quality of the product and its price. So I suppose the Americans do not see specific people behind those who are going to kill or whose legitimately elected leader they intend to overthrow.

But no matter how much one tries to demand from the citizens of other countries to agree to the role of the cow, they will never agree to this, therefore, under the blow, Russia is forced to lead this struggle for the self-awareness and security of all countries in the world.

Our opponents have a chance to win only in one case - if they find the strength to adopt the tactics of the "enemy" - they will begin to tell the truth, listen to the opposite side, open their thoughts to their own people. The new administration of the White House still has a chance to start from scratch, writing off sins for its predecessors.

But how will they differ from their opponent then? How can one explain to his citizens what their insoluble contradictions with Russians are and what is their irreconcilable position? - And then there are two options. Either wars and conflicts will end, world defense spending will decrease, and trade will grow. Either these politicians will have to admit that they are ready to continue attacking other countries not for good reasons, but solely for the sake of resources, maintaining their own fraudulent financial institutions or for unfair global competition.

But what kind of society will be able to reconcile with the second option, rejecting all the best and humane that we received from God, no matter what names we call him? "This is a question for historians studying the Third Reich, and I hope very much that we will not have a need for these historical analogies in the case of the Americans.

American-Kremlin trolls

My friend, an American journalist who is the founder of Our Russia,  Phil Butler asked me a question about what I feel about his participation in this information war on the side of Russia. He knows the answer himself, but I think he wanted to hear it from me.

Our goodwill of citizens of the two countries is the beginning and the end of any discussions. As there will be no winners in the modern hot world war, there is a great chance that there will not be losers in the information war, and we work together, to ensure that the Cold War 2.0 is resolved in the interests of both nations, the world. To people of different nationalities and religions knew more about each other, and therefore did not fear each other and did not look for enemies where they do not exist. So that no one will be allowed to push each other to please someone's evil will.

I see him as an honest man, a friend and an interesting interlocutor who has chosen the side that allows him to be a journalist in the most primordial sense of the word - writing about what he knows, sees, and what he believes. He himself embodies what we believe in Russia, namely, that there are many people on the other side of the ocean who live by conscience and by God's laws, for whom humanism, honor and international law are not abstract concepts. Phil gives us an example of responsible attitude to his destiny, because he offers his compatriots to think about the information that Western media feeding them, and to both sides to win this new media cold war, so that it never progresses into a hot one.

Those who talk about the aggressive attitude of Russia and its alleged desire to restore the Soviet Union apparently do not know the map of the world. Russia is a huge country, with a relatively small population, huge natural resources and a unique, strategically important geographical location. As we say in a joke: "When we in Moscow set up the navigator to drive to Vladivostok, we hear:" After nine thousand kilometers turn to the right. "

I had seen this cake on Stan's timeline before, today I asked if he baked it. "Of course, I love cooking", he replied.

We survived many wars that began with an attack on our territory and ended in the lair of the aggressor. We are always ready to repeat this experience, but the development of military technologies leaves less and less chance that there will be in winners such a war. For us, war is not an abstract concept, but a state of mind, a legacy of ancestors, which from the cradle prepares every citizen at a difficult time to protect his family, and the soil, and the country with weapons in their hands.

We are grateful to the Americans for the help they gave us in the Second World War, we honor the British heroes of the Northern convoys, and remember the docking of the Soyuz-Apollo spacecraft. We love the Private Ryan, Forest Gump, the Schindler list and the Lion King, and we sincerely do not understand why your politicians and the media are trying to make us enemies. We are insulted by their lies, that makes us feel threatened, to remember about Napoleon and Hitler, as well about a lot of other Western states that started aggression against Russia and the USSR and who ended bad. Let's talk more and learn each other so that no one could dictate to us that we should think about each other, and together we could make this world safer.