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Book Review: THE PUTIN INTERVIEWS (2017) – On Cross-ideological Manipulation

Updated: Jun 4, 2022

We support all the political forces, including the opposition forces, and we’re going to continue to do that.
– CIA (1)
Regrettably, the general principle in some countries is to support people who have extreme views to get help fighting people who are seemingly their enemies. The radicals understand that the intelligence services want to use them to fight for their own interests and they get money, they get support, they get arms, and then they deal a heavy blow to their benefactors.
Let me say once again that the best way is not to add fuel to these disputes, to these contradictions. These disputes should not be tried, shouldn’t be used to secure someone’s position in the region. – Putin (2) (3)


Author: Oliver Stone (1946-)

ISBN: 978-1510734111

Publisher: Hot Books

(US, January 1, 2017)

This book is recommended for understanding Putin and cross-ideological manipulation by intelligence agencies of today because it can provide insightful knowledge and viewpoints to the themes. The latter as a common media phenomenon is the critically important today on international politics. In other words, it is essentially about media literacy and rampant influencer marketing (commercial star system).

The foreign ministry blames Tokyo for “unacceptable rhetoric towards the Russian Federation, including defamation and direct threats,” which are “repeated by public figures, experts and representatives of the Japanese media, and completely subjected to the Western bias” towards the country. (4)

For instance, on May 4, 2022, Russia’s Foreign Ministry blacklisted 63 Japanese ruling figures. Among them are ‘opposition’, ‘leftist’, ‘liberal’, ‘pro-independence’, ‘anti-imperialist’ stars like Japanese Communist Party’s Kazuo Shii 志位和夫 (1954-) and ‘Ozawa Children’ The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan‘s Yuko Mori 森裕子 (1956-) etc.. It seems that Japanese sheeple in the opposition camp got confused yet it indicates that Japan’s ruling parties and opposition parties are just CIA parties. And unanimously participated in the “unprecedented anti-Russian campaign” led by Kishida’s administration (in fact, the US government). People should distinguish that opposition is part of the establishment not dissidents at all. No dissidents are part of neither governing structures nor media. In the establishment, so called ‘influencers’ are plants to promote ruling parties’ agendas or maintain vested interests or contain dissidents.

One of typical Japanese features in politics is that they have no consistency in ideologies thus an pro-Russia public figure could be anti-China. In other words, the ‘anti-US imperialist’ yakuza group like Issuikai (一水会;一水會/9649136 ) is very supportive of US-backed anti-China colour revolutions and Hong Kong separatists against China simultaneously while posing as ‘pro-Russia’. There is no consistency in their political stance thus it is only for personal benefits to exploit Russia in their own internal battles. Unfortunately so called ideological purity totally disappeared from today’s atmosphere. Instead, cross-ideological manipulation is standard and dominant. For instance:

【新唐人2010年3月7日訊】3月6日,日本「一水會」的代表木村三浩,在東京觀看神韻演出後向記者表示,神韻包含著強大的神的訊息,而中共懼怕這樣充滿真實和美的聲音。On March 6, 2010, Mikihiro Kimura, a representative of Japan's Issuikai, told reporters after watching a Shenyun (Falun Gong) performance in Tokyo that Shenyun contains a powerful message of God, and that the Chinese Communist Party fears such a voice full of truth and beauty. (5)



Again, opposition is part of establishment. And opposition stars are ‘influencers’ with different colours for the establishment itself. The main function of the opposition figures is to contain real dissidents. People should realize the difference between oppositionists and dissidents. True dissidents are independent and totally out of the establishment including media. Dissidents act purely for social causes without commercial interests while opposition pubic figures are making money and reputation out of social issues and tragedies.

For readers, Oliver’s book is helpful to realize the mechanism of the ruling system, especially about the narrative control.

Q1 On the collapse of the Soviet Union and Gorbachev’s Perestroika:

[Socialist ideas] These are not ideas of Gorbachev. These ideas were put forward by the French socialist Utopians, so Gorbachev has nothing to do with these ideas. Gorbachev was responding to the circumstances. I reiterate – his merit is that he felt this need for changes. And he tried to change the system. Not even change, he tried to renovate it, to overhaul it. But the problem is, this system was not efficient at its roots. And how can you radically change the system while preserving the country? That’s something no one back then knew – including Gorbachev. And they pushed the country towards collapse. (6)

Well, I told you that Gorbachev didn’t understand what had to be done, what the objectives were and how to reach them. And yet he was the first to make a step towards giving the country its freedom, and that was a historical breakthrough. Quite an evident fact – and the same thing goes for Yeltsin. Just as any one of us, he had his problems, but he also had his strong side and one of those advantages was that he never tried to avoid, to shirk responsibility, personal responsibility. He knew how to assume responsibility. Even though certainly he had his demons. (7)

Comment: This is a wholistic view on the collapse of the Soviet Union and Gorbachev. And the point is that Putin himself does not think that the USSR was collapsed by the US. Obviously, it was mainly due to internal causes of Russia itself.

Q2 On privatization and the oligarchic system:

I didn’t stop privatization. I just wanted to make it more equitable, fairer. I did everything so that state property was not sold for free. We put an end to some schemes – manipulation schemes – which led to the creation of oligarchs. These schemes that allowed some people become billionaires in the blink of an eye. With all due respect to Wassily Leontief, the American of Russian origin and Nobel Prize winner in economics. And when he was alive, I met him, and I attended his lectures and I listened to him talk. He said that property was supposed to get into the hands of people who deserve it – that’s what he thought. I think that in our conditions, in the Russian conditions, it led to the legal enrichment of a whole category of people. And it also led to a situation where the government either lost control of strategic industries or just led to the destruction of those industries. So, my goal was not to stop privatization, but to make it more systematic, more equitable. (8)

I believe that the privatization laws at the beginning of the 1990s were not just. But if we were to conduct de-privatization, as I said before, it would have been even more damaging to the economy and to the lives of common people. And that’s what I told the big business leaders, that was a frank discussion. I told them that the previously existing schemes were to be phased out of existence. I told them that laws were supposed to become fairer and more just. And I also told them that business was to assume more social responsibility. And many businessmen, most of them, conformed to the new laws. Do you know who was not happy about the new laws? Those who were not true businessmen. Those who earned their millions or billions not thanks to their entrepreneurial talents, but thanks to their ability to force good relationships with the government – those people were not happy. (9)

Comment: Kleptocracy led the Soviet Union and post-Soviet countries into humanitarian crises including today’s hottest topic Ukraine. How about the Hong Kong oligarchic system of governance? In fact, the SAR and CCP governments tend to preserve the oligarchs like Putin. However, Hong Kong oligarchs are only devastating lives of Hongkongers while Putin successfully cut poverty population in the 2000s by handling oligarchs. In 2019, it’s 12.3% poverty population.


The OECD poverty rate: Lessons from the Russian case

Q3 On intelligence reports:

I do not read abstracts. I always read documents – the original ones. I never use analytical materials provided to me by the intelligence services. I always read separate documents. (10)

Comment: It differs from newsreaders checking headlines to select articles. It is about intelligence or any other professional reports. That is why intelligence reports regularly must contain original texts and referential information to check origins. This format itself is essential to secure trustworthiness.

Q4 On Stalin:

I think that excessive demonization of Stalin is one of the ways to attack the Soviet Union and Russia, to show that the Russia of today has something originating from Stalinism. Well, of course we all have these birthmarks. What I’m saying is Russia has changed radically, but there is no going back to Stalinism, because the mentality of the people has changed. As to Stalin himself, he arrived in power with wonderful ideas that he was propounding. He was talking about the need for equality, fraternity, peace… but of course he turned into a dictator. I don’t think that in a situation like that anything else would have been possible. I’m referring to that situation in the world. Was it any better in Spain, or in Italy? Or in Germany? There are many countries where the government was based in tyranny.

But of course, this doesn’t mean that he was not capable of bringing together the people of the Soviet Union. He managed to organize resistance to fascism. And he even conformed himself to some of the decisions which were offered to him by his generals. This doesn’t mean, however, that we must forget all the atrocities Stalinism committed- the destruction of millions of our compatriots, the extermination camps. These things are not to be forgotten. And he is an ambiguous figure. I think at the end of his life he was in a very difficult position – a very different mental situation, I believe, but that requires an impartial study. (11)

Comment: Putin’s view on Stalin is quite balanced. Indeed, the excessive demonization of Stalin is to downgrade today’s Russia in terms of politics. Therefore anti-Soviet, de-communization seen in the 1990s only brought cultural destruction as cancel culture. Furthermore, it is the same for China that excessive demonization of Mao is unbeneficial for CCP itself.

Q5 Yeltsin Administration (1992-2001) and American Advisors:

There were many economic advisers from the United States working with the Central Government and the administration of President Yeltsin. And since we were in St. Petersburg, we had little to do with it.

Comment: Many people of today simply think Yeltsin as a US puppet yet Putin doesn’t. He partially and conditionally admitted that US government infiltrated the Yeltsin administration during 1990s especially in the economic field.

OS: But you joined with Yeltsin in 1995, right?

VP: 1996, to be more exact. […] we saw the discussions between the American School of Economics and the Europeans, the majority of whom were not entirely approving of the recommendations which we were given by the Americans. (By Yegor Gaidar; Chubais; Andrei Nechaev)

I refer to the privatization of state property. And to be frank we couldn’t interfere within this process, and we didn’t.

OS: Now, looking back at it, was this a private effort or did you feel the presence of the American government as well?

VP: I think both. Both the private sector and the government. Certainly, the private sector was taking an active part in this process. But no doubt under the control of the central government.

Europeans thought that unchecked privatization that was conducted in Russia wouldn’t lead to raising the efficiency of the economy. (12)

Comment: As they said, so called ‘shock therapy’ (unchecked, uninterferable privatization of the state properties) created pro-Western oligarchs in a blink of an eye. Both Putin and European critics on this issue were and sill are correct historically.

Q6 On the American Intelligence Agencies:

…in Afghanistan, we supported the United States. And we allowed them to use our territory to supply weapons and other cargo.

OS: And continued to do so until recently. [July 3, 2015]

VP: Yes. We believe that this cooperation is in our national interest. […] We assume that the Cold War was over, that we had transparent relations with the United States, with the whole world, and we certainly counted on support. But instead, we witnessed the American intelligence services support terrorists. [e.g., Al Qaeda-related religious radicals of Caucasus and Chechnya]

Note: They not only transfers weapons to them but also, they transfer those fighters, too. Logistic support (technical support) is often ignored by critics.

[…] 2005 or 2004. Some time had passed, and we received a response from the American intelligence services:

We support all the political forces, including the opposition forces, and we’re going to continue to do that.

[…] this bureaucracy, which still clings to the ideas that you’ve talked about – namely the possibility to use fundamentalism to destabilize the situation. Well, these are still alive. […] our American partners were talking about the need to cooperate, including in fighting terrorism but, they were using those terrorists to destabilize the internal political situation in Russia. (13)

Regrettably, the general principle in some countries is to support people who have extreme views to get help fighting people who are seemingly their enemies.

The thing is, the greatest problem is, distinguishing between these people is impossible. Because these people also evolve and change. They conform to conditions and it’s impossible to understand who is using whom – whether the intelligence services of the United States are using Islamic radicals. The radicals understand that the intelligence services want to use them to fight for their own interests and they get money, they get support, they get arms, and then they deal a heavy blow to their benefactors. Or they transfer part of their money, weapons or equipment to other armed units and are involved in activities which are not welcomed by the benefactors or those who support this or that country’s unit. The same is happening with ISIS right now. The same thing. When there is this talk about the need to support the opposition in Syria – the normal opposition, they are given money, they are given weapons, and then it turns out that some of them defected to ISIS. And our partners recognized that. But it’s a systemic mistake which is repeated always. This is the same thing which happened in Afghanistan in the 1980s. And right now, it’s happening in the Middle East. (14)

Comment: Unlike Oliver Stone’s interpretation, before and after 911, Russia firmly had supported the US and its WAR ON TERRORISM in Afghanistan (October 7, 2001-August 30, 2021). Their security cooperation in Afghanistan had lasted until the US withdrawal in 2021. Putin / RT thought the US presence in Afghanistan was to prevent spread of terrorism.

We support all the political forces, including the opposition forces, and we’re going to continue to do that.

This part is the most important one in terms of today’s political situations. It perfectly explains that why US intelligence agencies support both ruling and opposition political parties of various colors in every country including allies and enemies. This fact is what the most people still don’t accept. For example, Japanese opposition supporters still wrongly think that those opposition ‘influencers’, ‘stars’ and ‘critics’ within establishment are supportive of oppositionists and dissidents. In fact, every major conflict with China or Russia reveals who they are. People must know that true and real dissidents are totally out of establishment. And genuine dissidents only act for social causes not for money, LIKEs and reputation.

US intelligence agencies use all kinds of political forces and colors if they are useful to destabilize targets or maintain American order within a country. This also explains that why US and Canada had trained and still support Neo-Nazi military forces in Ukraine to destabilize Russia. It is their typical and effective principle.

Q7 Russia-US relations:

Overall, the relationships dampened because the United States supported terrorist groups in the Caucasus. That has always been a problem in our bilateral relations. Not just with the President, but in practice we saw that their actions were completely contrary to what they were telling us. And then our relations were dampene