For someone who was a frequent patient with a rehab hospital over a twenty year period, changes occurred, some good but most bad that showed a failing system shifting downward. Last winter personnel of a ward of this rehab hospital were called into a meeting, and came out looking grim. Patients fired faster than before. Rehab programs were abbreviated and people were being sent home or to long-term care.
When interviewing Ontario Provincial Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown Estonian Life asked him what the difference in percentage was between front of the line, (nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, pharmacists etc.) and behind the line (administrator and other) workers, Brown perked up and said, "Good question, thirty nine percent are behind the line, the rule of thumb is five percent."
The involvement of the KGB, the CIA, an Estonian anti-Soviet partisan, Siberian labour camps, two prolonged court cases, and the credibility of major community personalities all in one captivating story would be plenty for a Hollywood mystery.
But the most intriguing events of the recent past within the community of Estonians abroad have still not reached full closure even with the declassification of millions of pages of CIA documents formerly kept from public view.
Eerik Heine, an anti-Soviet partisan (Metsavend), a soldier in German forces, arrested by the Soviets, sentenced to the Gulag, released during Kruschev’s amnesty, active as a hard-line anti-Communist in Canada, depicted as the central character in a movie about Estonian anti-Communist partisans, accused of being covertly KGB, whose claims were studied by Alfons Rebane, who filed a libel suit against the CIA, had passionate defenders as well as those who were totally convinced that the CIA’s accusations were justified.
Rather than Erik Heine’s own account or the CIA’s version of his background, a KGB-commissioned summary of Heine’s ‘legend’ opens the first article of this series. (Read more: Estonian Life No. 50 2017Estonian Life No. 50 2017).
There is overwhelming consensus among those who have observed Russia over the past 17 years, that the country under Vladimir Putin, has become authoritarian, repressive, revanchist and imperialistic.
Is Vladimir Putin uniquely evil? Or his reputation for evil one that is conjured up by old cold war conspiracy theorists, as some Putin apologists have recently mused?
There is overwhelming consensus among those who have observed Russia over the past 17 years, that the country under Vladimir Putin, has become authoritarian, repressive, revanchist and imperialistic. Hope for any Western-style democratic reform was lost when Boris Yeltsin handed his country to the unremarkable former KGB officer in 2000.
Within a few short years, oligarchs, media barons and officials who weren’t loyal to Putin personally were eliminated. As Russian anti-corruption crusader, Bill Browder says, the cost to those oligarchs who wished to remain in business and untouched by the Kremlin, was 50 per cent of everything they had, making Vladimir Putin one of the richest people in the world.
Russia’s press, which was remarkably open and free in the early 2000s, was quickly silenced, as Putin ordered police raids of major media networks, which were expropriated by the state, broken up and sold to his friends.
Journalists who questioned the Kremlin’s tactics were silenced with assassin’s bullets. Anna Politkovskaya, who questioned Russia’s war against Chechen separatists, was gunned down in an elevator in her apartment block. Alexander Litvinenko, a former FSB officer who blew the whistle on Russian apartment block bombings that were staged by the FSB, was murdered in London with radioactive polonium 210. A British inquest later called the murder an act of nuclear terrorism, carried out by an FSB officer, who Vladimir Putin later made a member of Russia’s Parliament.
Since becoming President of Russia, Putin has stolen every single election, denying Russians the freedom of democratic choice by eliminating any political opposition using draconian anti-democratic laws, arrests and assassinations.
Neighbouring states have not been immune from Putin’s “evil” either. In 2007 Putin ordered the Russian embassy in Estonia to sponsor, organize and stage “ethnic riots” when a Second World War Soviet memorial was relocated. The riots and the mass state sponsored cyber attacks that were ordered afterwards, were Putin’s first attempt to destabilize a neighbouring state.
The following summer, Putin ordered Russian troops to invade parts of Georgia under the pretext of supporting local independence movements — yet remain occupied by Russian troops to this day.
Just days after the most corrupt games in Olympic history closed in Sochi, in 2014 — which would also become known for the worst doping scandal in history — Putin ordered his troops to invade the Crimean peninsula and stage a fake referendum, eventually stealing a massive swath of Ukrainian territory. Thousands of Russian and Ukrainian soldiers have died since, as Putin continues to destabilize Eastern Ukraine.
In response to this, many Western nations placed sanctions against members of the Putin regime, and specifically those responsible for the violence in Ukraine, including the senseless downing of a civilian Malaysian Airlines flight in 2014.
Not quite satisfied by his attacks on Estonia, Georgia or Ukraine, Putin adopted a strategy of active disruption and destabilization of Western democracies and institutions.
These included cyber and disinformation campaigns intended to erode confidence in international organizations, pit domestic political groups against each other and active meddling in foreign elections and referendums.
There is extensive evidence and broad unanimity among Western governments and intelligence agencies that this happened in several cases, including the U.S., France, Germany, U.K., Spain, Montenegro and elsewhere. This is not a conspiracy that’s up for debate by fringe Putin apologist groups, but a well documented fact.
The only deterrent that seems to keep Vladimir Putin up at night, are the sanctions that have been applied against his officials, oligarchs and friends. Magnitsky human rights sanctions as they’re known, freeze the assets of Russian officials who engage in corruption and human rights abuse and impost visa travel bans against them.
It is the repeal of those sanctions, applied to punish the Putin regime, that the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Kremlin lawyer, Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort was arranged to discuss. Sanctions are also what Michael Flynn has now admitted discussing with Russian Ambassador Kislyak during the Trump transition.
The Western notion of Vladimir Putin as an “evil” autocrat, is entirely deserved and well earned by the Russian President himself. To suggest that this is a cold war style “conspiracy” is foolish and dangerously naive.
Originally published: thestar.com - Vladimir Putin’s special brand of evil
By MARCUS KOLGA Wed., Dec. 6, 2017
Georg Soros kuulub maailma rikkamate inimeste hulka. Tema varandust hinnatakse seitsmele miljardile USA dollarile. See on igati imetlemisväärne, kui arvesse võtta seda, et ta 1947.a põgenes Ungarist 17-aastasena Inglismaale, ilma et tal mingit varandust oleks olnud. Ungaris koges ta nii natside kui kommunistide terrorit. Inglismaal ta õppis majandusteadust ja oma varanduse lõi ta vääringute – rahakurssidega – spekuleerimises.
Paljud vääringud liiguvad vabalt, nii nagu seda teevad Kanada ja USA dollar omavahel, mil nende omavaheline suhe päevast päeva muutub. Osa vääringuid on aga teise vääringuga seotud, nii nagu seda oli Eesti kroon algaastatel, mil ta oli Saksa margaga seotud. Aja jooksul muutuvad aga eri riikide majandused ja siis tekib vajadus seotud vääringute omavahelist vahekorda muuta. Need, kes seda muudatust oskavad õieti ette näha, võivad sellega suuri summasid teenida. Arvatakse, et Soros teenis ühe päevaga umbes miljard USA dollarit, kui ta õigesti ennustas, et Briti Riigipank pidi inglise rahakurssi Euroopa vääringute suhtes alandama.