The Russia Trump fiasco (1 Viewer)


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The 9 Russian Words That Explain KremlinGate
It’s International Talk Like a Chekist Day—here’s a quick primer on kombinatsiya, konspiratsiya and more
By John R. Schindler • 03/28/17 11:40am

As the Trump administration’s Russia problem shows no sign of going away, protesting presidential tweets notwithstanding, it’s time to think about it properly. Understanding what the Kremlin’s up to helps to see the big picture. This means learning a bit of spy lingo. Espionage, like everything else, has its own culture—including special verbiage—which varies from country to country.

Russia’s espionage culture is unique and in key ways markedly different from how Western countries approach the spy-game. It’s a product of the Soviet secret police, that brutal and cunning force, and it’s no accident that Vladimir Putin’s spies proudly call themselves Chekists today to commemorate them—just as they did in the days of the KGB. “There are no ‘former’ Chekists,” as the KGB veteran Putin has stated, and this attitude permeates his Kremlin.

The threat to our democracy posed by Moscow’s spy-games won’t recede on its own. As Rick Ledgett, NSA’s straight-talking deputy director, stated last week, “This is a challenge to the foundations of our democracy.” He went on: “How do we counter that?” adding, “What do we do as a nation to make it stop?”

This first thing we must do is gain a reality-based understanding of the SpyWar we’re in with Moscow. So, let’s walk through a few of the most important Russian espionage terms to shed some light on what’s really going on between Washington and the Kremlin.
First, there’s provokatsiya (provocation), which is the cornerstone of the Russian espionage worldview. This part of Kremlin spy culture is older than the Bolsheviks, dating to the late Tsarist era, when Russia invented the modern intelligence agency to fight anarchist terrorists.

Provocation is complicated, but at its most basic involves secret acts to confuse and dismay your enemy. The recent antics of Devin Nunes, chair of the House Intelligence Committee—positing conflicting and unsubstantiated allegations of malfeasance by our spy agencies—are a classic provocation designed to divert attention from the White House as its Russia crisis mounts. Regardless of whether anyone in Russia has a hand in this, the Kremlin surely approves.

Provokatsiya gets more complicated and nefarious from there, with the ultimate aim of turning the tables on your enemy and defeating him detail—before he realizes what’s happened. As I’ve explained, this involves a lot of shady stuff such as:

Taking control of your enemies in secret and encouraging them to do things that discredit them and help you. You plant your own agents provocateurs and flip legitimate activists, turning them to your side…While this isn’t a particularly nice technique, it works surprisingly well, particularly if you don’t care about bloody and messy consequences.

Moscow is alarmingly forward-leaning about provocation, and the Kremlin’s traditional devil-may-care attitude about these dirty tricks means it’s a safe bet that when you encounter rabid anti-Putin activists, there’s a solid chance some of them are secretly working for the Russians.

Next there’s konspiratsiya (yes, conspiracy), the Russian term for what we call espionage tradecraft. This is the clandestine nuts and bolts of recruiting and running agents, placing targets under surveillance, running covert action and whatnot. While the word conspiracy has a negative, tinfoil-y connotation in the West—where anything which polite people don’t wish to ponder can be brushed off as a “conspiracy theory”—Moscow feels differently.

Russians accept that conspiracies exist because people conspire—and what’s more conspiratorial than espionage, the vaunted second-oldest profession? The Kremlin is notably cold-blooded about konspiratsiya, being willing to sacrifice even highly valuable agents when something better comes along. Moscow does not believe in tears, as the saying goes.

A related term is kompromat (compromising material), which is used to coercively recruit people to spy for Russia—and to keep already recruited agents in line. Thanks to the salacious Steele dossier, with its allegations of Moscow possessing not-safe-for-work kompromat on Donald Trump, lots of Americans know this unpleasant term now. The fear of kompromat is almost as potent as the embarrassing photos or videos themselves, as Russians know only too well.

Given the murky finances and messy personal lives of numerous members of Team Trump, it’s a safe bet that the Kremlin has its hands on juicy information which, if revealed, would cause problems. That said, there’s no reason to think Steele’s X-rated assertions are true, nor that Moscow needed kompromat in this operation. President Trump’s inner circle seems perfectly willing to parley with Russians, particularly powerful and rich ones, without any hint of coercion.

Dezinformatsiya (disinformation) is another Russian term once known only to espionage mavens but which, thanks to the events of 2016, now falls off the tongue of average citizens. Deza, as it’s called for short, is the original “fake news,” an alluring amalgam of fact and fantasy—much of it unverifiable—designed to confuse readers and shift political discussions.

Vladimir Putin. Sergei Karpukhin/AFP/Getty Images

Peddling deza is much faster and easier these days, thanks to the Internet and the rise of fringe websites, but there’s nothing new about it. It was part of the KGB’s Cold War arsenal, when Chekists faked documents and disseminated lies through trusted Western journalists, in order to embarrass the West, especially NATO and the United States. Some of these vintage disinformation fables are still with us, despite being debunked decades ago.

Deza, however, is only one component of what the Russians call aktivniyye meropriyatiya (Active Measures), which is a vital Chekist concept lacking a precise Western equivalent. It roughly aligns with our notion of political warfare, albeit with a highly clandestine side. The bureaucratically bland-sounding KGB definition of Active Measures covers a broad brush of nefarious spy-games:

Agent-operational measures aimed at exerting useful influence on aspects of the political life of a target country which are of interest, its foreign policy, the solution of international problems, misleading the adversary, undermining and weakening his positions, the disruption of his hostile plans, and the achievement of other aims.

The Kremlin’s 2016 brazen operation to harm Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump was a classic Active Measure, relying on cyber-espionage to steal emails, then employing a Kremlin front to disseminate them to the world. As I recently explained, this successful spy-game was notable only for its astonishing lack of subtlety, with Putin’s special services seeming to want us to know what they were doing.

Overall, however, the on-going Russian clandestine operation to subvert our democracy falls under the rubric of what Chekists call kombinatsiya (combination), meaning the coordinated application of provocation and Active Measures in order to influence political outcomes. Pushing disinformation is perhaps too easy these days, and now the FBI is investigating the Kremlin-to-far-right-websites deza loopwhich has become commonplace in America.

Weaponized lies only get the Russians so far, though, and here’s where provokatsiya moves the spy-game further down the field. To pull off provocations, however, Moscow needs operatives, and it’s evident that members of Team Trump possess links to Kremlin agents and cut-outs. There’s no doubt the FBI is unraveling all that right now in its investigation of KremlinGate.

Fully understanding this complex Russian operational game will take months, maybe years, but Americans should feel confident that the FBI, with help from NSA and other secret agencies, will eventually get to the bottom of the kombinatsiya that Putin has inflicted on our democracy.

What ought to worry anybody caught up in all this is the Russian term mokroye delo (wet affairs, commonly styled as “wetwork” in the West, referring to bloody hands), meaning assassinations. Putin’s regime has embraced wetwork in a manner not seen in the Kremlin since Stalin’s time. His assassins have taken out defectors and enemies all over the world, including in the West.

The most infamous hit was the notorious polonium-210 murder of the defector Sasha Litvinenko in London in 2006, but several other Russian émigrés on Putin’s “enemies list” have met unnatural ends in recent years—to say nothing of the numerous regime opponents who have been murdered in Russia.

Wetwork may even reach the United States, as testified by the brutal and mysterious death of Mikhail Lesin, a former member of Putin’s inner circle, in the heart of our nation’s capital in late 2015. Moscow coldly disposes of people it no longer needs, who may possess kompromat on the Kremlin. Last week’s brazen murder of a Russian dissident politician on the streets of Kyiv, in broad daylight, sends a clear message that Putin will settle scores and tie up loose ends wherever he needs to.

John Schindler is a security expert and former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer. A specialist in espionage and terrorism, he’s also been a Navy officer and a War College professor.
I've been following Russian activities since my time in the military, my participation in a security affairs think tank, academically and personally.

This isn't going away.


The Fat Mamba
Site Donor
You know what's not going away? Appending "Gate" to any controversy. It's just like the "... on steroids" phrase. I can't tell the source of unoriginality anymore. Is it Americans? Is it the media? Is it all of us?

Russia destabilization efforts have been tremendous thus far, both in Europe and now the State.


Welcome to the machine.
Here is an interesting thing to think about.

Let's grant that everything played out as writers such as Louise Mensch have speculated.

Let's grant the Steele dossier is 100 percent accurate.

That can allow us to conclude that the current American executive are essentially agents of Russia.

Let's also grant that the White House and congressional republicans are colluding to subvert any investigation, which will lead to political chaos.

What options does that leave Russia?

1. Try to subvert the truth and engage in disinformation to try to blunt the trail.

2. Either directly, or through indirect leaks, take responsibility for everything.

Option 2 is, to me, the final death stroke that Russia has planned. MAD essentially rules out any true potential of armed conflict. Sanctions can't get much worse, especially since how badly the United States' credibility will be undermined internationally. Fewer states will comply with their agenda. The fact will remain that without willing Americans, this couldn't have happened so it isn't wholly Russia's fault. The resulting descent and chaos that will come with Russia releasing payment, transactional, finance, documentary, audio and video records of American politicians and business leaders actively and willingly selling influence to a foreign government will delegitimize the American political and economic system in a way that cannot even really be comprehended.

As soon as everybody sees the sitting president sitting in a corner jerking off while Russian whores piss everywhere:



Well-Known Member
Is there any doubt in the minds of those who post here that the Russians collaborated with this administration in order to interfere with this past election/do some other highly compromising shit?


Nunquam Fidelis
The big problem with selling this whole Russia thing to the public isn't going to be establishing that it happened so much as it will be making the public care, since most of the stuff that got leaked against Clinton and the Dems was true (aside from the Spirit Cooking and Pizzagate insanity that some of the kookier conspiracy theorists tried to run with). End of the day, I'm expecting most people (who are already pretty disillusioned with our government and political system in general) to see this as one group of shady people doing shady shit in order to expose another group of shady people doing different shady shit.


The wolf dead.
You know what's not going away? Appending "Gate" to any controversy. It's just like the "... on steroids" phrase. I can't tell the source of unoriginality anymore. Is it Americans? Is it the media? Is it all of us?

Russia destabilization efforts have been tremendous thus far, both in Europe and now the State.
To paraphrase Dana Gould, "if the president was caught spying on his opponent at the DNC in 2016, it would be called Watergategate."


The Fat Mamba
Site Donor
If Pizzagate didn't kill the trend then nothing will. Maybe Niggergate or Faggotgate. It's only a matter of time at this point.


Welcome to the machine.
If Pizzagate didn't kill the trend then nothing will. Maybe Niggergate or Faggotgate. It's only a matter of time at this point.
Na. South Park did it.
[DOUBLEPOST=1490895266,1490813636][/DOUBLEPOST]Clinton Watts' testimony before the Senate committee has been pretty exceptional.


Mike Flynn Offers to Testify in Exchange for Immunity
Former national security adviser tells FBI, the House and Senate intelligence committees he’s willing to be interviewed in exchange for deal, officials say

Former national security adviser Mike Flynn in the East Room of the White House in February. PHOTO:CAROLYN KASTER/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Updated March 30, 2017 6:41 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON—Mike Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, has told the Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional officials investigating the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia that he is willing to be interviewed in exchange for a grant of immunity from prosecution, according to officials with knowledge of the matter.

As an adviser to Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign, and later one of Mr. Trump’s top aides in the White House, Mr. Flynn was privy to some of the most sensitive foreign-policy deliberations of the new administration and was directly involved in discussions about the possible lifting of sanctions on Russia imposed by the Obama administration.

He has made the offer to the FBI and the House and Senate intelligence committees through his lawyer but has so far found no takers, the officials said.

Mr. Flynn’s attorney, Robert Kelner, declined to comment.

It wasn’t clear if Mr. Flynn had offered to talk about specific aspects of his time working for Mr. Trump, but the fact that he was seeking immunity suggested Mr. Flynn feels he may be in legal jeopardy following his brief stint as the national security adviser, one official said.

Mr. Flynn was forced to resign after acknowledging that he misled White House officials about the nature of his phone conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential transition.

Mr. Flynn’s communications with the Russian ambassador, Sergei Kislyak, have been scrutinized by the FBI, which is examining whether Trump campaign personnel colluded with Russian officials who are alleged to have interfered with the presidential election, according to current and former U.S. officials. Russia has denied the allegations.


Mr. Flynn also was paid tens of thousands of dollars by three Russian companies, including the state-sponsored media network RT, for speeches he made shortly before he became a formal adviser to Mr. Trump’s campaign, according to documents obtained by a congressional oversight committee.

Democratic lawmakers have requested a copy of the security-clearance form that Mr. Flynn was required to file before joining Mr. Trump in the White House, to see if he disclosed sources of foreign income.

And they have asked the Defense Department to investigate whether Mr. Flynn, a retired Army general, violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause by accepting money from RT, which U.S. intelligence officials say is part of a state-funded media apparatus.

—Aruna Viswanatha contributed to this article.

Last edited:


Well-Known Member
If you are publicly offering to speak for immunity, that doesn't bode well for your chances of getting immunity.


Welcome to the machine.
This guy is ex military intelligence who is now a "patriot hacker," who hacked ISIS multiple times and the Russian Foreign Ministry. Sounds dubious, but he's legit and has been weeks ahead of the game.

Scrolling through his timeline will verify his reliability.

But it looks like we may be hitting the endgame sooner rather than later.

[DOUBLEPOST=1490936362,1490936209][/DOUBLEPOST]Also reading that Trump may blame, whether legit or not, health problems. I've speculated he has onset dementia for months, and brought it up at a conference last fall.


This guy is ex military intelligence who is now a "patriot hacker," who hacked ISIS multiple times and the Russian Foreign Ministry. Sounds dubious, but he's legit and has been weeks ahead of the game.

Scrolling through his timeline will verify his reliability.

But it looks like we may be hitting the endgame sooner rather than later.

[DOUBLEPOST=1490936362,1490936209][/DOUBLEPOST]Also reading that Trump may blame, whether legit or not, health problems. I've speculated he has onset dementia for months, and brought it up at a conference last fall.
please god make this happen


Welcome to the machine.
Do you really believe it's legit? If so, what leads you to that conclusion if you don't mind me asking?
Convergence of facts, tactical procedures, strategic goals, background of collector, secondary analysis by qualified people, past behaviour and general demeanor of target.


Is a Pence Presidency a better option? Trump is a greedy, arrogant fool. Pence strikes me as a zealot; focussed and driven. I believe he is far more dangerous.

@jesusatemyhotdog whats your opinion of the degree of veracity of the Steele dossier at this point in time?
at this point trump is acting like what pence would act like if he was president.


Bringing Sexy Back
Site Donor
If we get a Trump pissing sexy tape, officially the most embarrassing thing ever for USA

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