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by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Not since before the end of the Soviet Union have Russians been more certain the country has deadly enemies. They are also in no doubt the US is the biggest of them, trailed by the Ukrainian enemy, the British, the European Union, and the Poles.  

There has been a brief exception. In September 2014, following the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 and the mobilisation of NATO forces for an invasion of eastern Ukraine, 84% of those polled by the Levada Centre agreed the country had enemies. This past September the comparable figure was 82%. Today there is less uncertainty than before – in 2014 8% of Russians told their face-to-face interviewer they weren’t sure; now it’s only 5%.

This is the outcome of years of US and European military, economic and propaganda operations aimed at convincing the world to support regime change in the Kremlin, and Russians to believe they would be better off  if this happens. The outcome of these operations this year has been defeat on each of the hot war fronts – Ukraine, Syria, Libya, and Armenia – and failure in the major cyber-war operations: the Skripal Novichok case; the MH17 trial in The Netherlands; the Alexei Navalny affair in Germany.

Failure of cyber-warfare means that it doesn’t matter what  the attackers say happened to Skripal or MH17, if the Russians resist believing what they are told. In the Navalny case, despite all the publicity he has attracted since he collapsed on the toilet of his airplane to Moscow on August 20, the proportion of Russians supporting him politically has stuck in the margin for statistical error; that’s  between 3% and 6%. Despite the increased name recognition and sympathy for his earlier anti-corruption message, there has been a sharp increase in Russian disapproval of Navalny’s promotion of himself from his bunker in Berlin.

In recent days too, the retreating commanders of the enemy states have asked President Vladimir Putin for Marshal Kutuzov’s golden bridge.  That’s a reliable back-channel for negotiations; an agreement for a ceasefire, then exit from the battlefield; the resumption of profitable interstate trade and investment, despite sanctions. This was Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s purpose sending a junior foreign minister to Moscow in mid-November; it is Putin’s purpose for naming Anatoly Chubais to be the negotiating counterpart of John Kerry, President-elect Joseph Biden’s appointee as “Special Presidential Envoy for Climate”.  

Russians think of Americans, Ukrainians, British and Poles as enemies because it’s true, not because they trust what the Kremlin and the press tell them, or because they have been brainwashed to agree.

Paradoxically, Russians reveal that on this year’s priority of emergency health care and Covid-19 protection, they are more positive towards the performance of their regional authorities than their counterparts  in the enemy states. At the same time and by contrast, Russians are much more resistant to accepting Covid-19 vaccination when the government  in Moscow organises and pays for it. On the one hand, according to this multi-nation study, “trust in government is strongly associated with vaccine acceptance and can contribute to public compliance with recommended actions”.   On the other hand, Russians who trust the government to defend them from foreign enemies don’t trust the government to protect their health with a vaccination programme.  

Source: https://www.levada.ru/

Source: https://www.levada.ru/

This is not at all what the regime-change plotters of Washington, London, Brussels, or Berlin believe they can persuade (or compel) Russians to think. They aren’t listening when Russians reply that they support Putin to be the figurehead of their resistance to their enemies, even when  they don’t trust him when it comes to the benefits of the Sputnik V vaccine.

This Russian trust is higher and more durable over time for Putin than for the heads of government of the enemy states.  

VLADIMIR PUTIN’S APPROVAL RATING 

Source: the latest poll measurement in November shows approval at 65%, disapproval at 34%. Levada Centre.

BORIS JOHNSON’S APPROVAL RATING

Source: YouGov.

EMMANUEL MACRON’S APPROVAL RATING

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/  Although the measured average approval rating for all polls is 40% in November, the latest IFOP  survey  indicates a drop of approval from 34% in the chart to 29%.

DONALD TRUMP’S APPROVAL RATING

The latest poll measurement is dated December 9. Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com

For a discussion of the year-end results of the plots that have failed, listen to the Gorilla Radio broadcast as Chris Cook asks the questions. Click to listen to the interview broadcast.

Gorilla Radio is broadcast every Thursday on CFUV 101.9 FM from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.  The radio station can be heard here. The Gorilla Radio transcripts are also published by the Pacific Free Press and on the blog.   For Chris Cook’s broadcast archive, click to open. 



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