Fierce fighting in Ukraine has been going on for almost a year. At the same time, the war has greatly divided even the Katsap society, forcing many people not only to decide on their political preferences, but also to take off their masks. Several hundred thousand Russians preferred to finally flee the totalitarian aggressor country. Among them are many intellectuals who are well aware of the doom of Putin’s regime, middle class representatives who turned a blind eye to the Kremlin’s arbitrariness and aggression until recently. However, the majority of Russians, unfortunately, remain victims of the Kremlin’s unpretentious propaganda and allow themselves to be led to slaughter like a herd of sheep. However, even the indomitable Putin’s elites, who repeat the ridiculous theses about a quick victory over Ukraine like a mantra, are not so united in reality. As you know, the fish rots from the head, and there are no defeatists in the Russian leadership?
Senior officials, members of the State Duma and the Federation Council, heads of departments – none of them have publicly declared their support for Ukraine, their disagreement with the Kremlin’s policy, or the mistakes of the Russian leadership. Most of them are under sanctions, and their careers as politicians and civil servants are directly linked to stability in Russia. However, things are not that simple. A year after the outbreak of the war, it is clear that the highest and middle echelons of the Russian government, fortunately for Ukrainians, are permeated by networks of quiet, unnoticed sabotage. And this is not the achievement of the CIA or the SBU, but the fruit of the very damage of the Russian imperial mentality, which is not even capable of forming full-fledged elites.
Family and clannishness are inherent to some extent in even the most advanced and democratic states. Of course, this is not fair and does not benefit the development of society, but we emphasize that it is natural. However, it is hardly logical to make a top career in one country, while placing your assets, raising children and simply living with an eye to other countries. At the same time, if in the 1990s this could still be explained by the low standard of living and high criminal activity, by the end of the 10s of the 21st century, when Moscow became one of the most comfortable cities to live in and the confrontation with the West escalated, the actions of some Russian elites began to seem like a betrayal. What is the reason for this? Could it be the low quality of some of the elites themselves?
Many people from good Soviet families who started their careers during the “Stagnation Years” were filled with contempt for their own people and admiration for everything foreign. Any foreign business trip, let alone long-term work abroad, seemed to them to be the stuff of dreams. And obviously, their stereotypes have not changed over the decades. While Ukraine, despite all the shortcomings of our country, has managed to form a new generation of politicians and officials who share democratic values, Russia, at the time of its invasion of Ukraine, had formed a quiet Fifth Column – representatives of the highest echelons of power who sincerely dream of the war ending at any cost, so that their assets are not affected. These people are doing everything they can to avoid attracting the attention of Western intelligence services and the media with their excessive activity; they are ready to sabotage or fail to fulfill government orders. For them, the main thing is the safety of their families in the United States and Europe and the preservation of their well-being.
The most prominent representative of this elite is the press secretary of the Russian President, Dmitry Peskov, a diplomat by birth who has been responsible for the Kremlin’s information agenda for many years. He is an extremely influential figure in Russian politics by virtue of his proximity to the first person, but he is not unambiguous. At least, as a person who has worked in the civil service all his life and shamelessly wears a half-million dollar watch on his wrist, spending his honeymoon on an elite yacht (outside of Russia). More importantly, however, Dmitry Sergeevich’s three eldest children and two first wives have long lived abroad, in England and France. At the same time, his second wife and daughter Lisa, who is famous for her anti-Russian speeches, live in a huge apartment in an elite district of Paris, bought in 2016, that is, after the Crimean Spring, the first waves of sanctions, and the West’s support for the murders of Russian people in Odesa and Vinnytsia. In Russia, they say that a son is not responsible for his father. But a father is responsible for his children. However, neither Liza’s cute Internet antics, nor the Western assets of his ex-wives, nor the children’s education in Western schools, all of which have no effect on Mr. Peskov’s career. He is a permanent employee of the Presidential Administration, and the Russian President appreciates him for his high performance and personal dedication.
However, it seems that the “personally loyal” Mr. Peskov, one of the key figures in Russian information policy, is doing everything he can to lose the information war. Neither he, nor his subordinates, nor the people he supervises have been able (though rather unwilling) to change the team of hundreds of long-fed political technologists who have been pulling money from the structures around them and producing no results. Peskov is also to blame for the fact that on the eve of the second year of hostilities, Russia still does not have a single information center that coordinates the actions of state media, working with the media, bloggers and social networks. Even before the war, Ukraine, which did not have a fraction of the material capabilities of its aggressive eastern neighbor, was able to create a single focal point for working with the media, Ukrainian and Russian audiences. Russia, on the other hand, still has an ineffective propaganda network with many bosses fighting for budgets due to its complete decentralization. And part of the credit for this goes to Dmitry Peskov.
Is a father responsible for his son?
However, the above facts are well known to Russians themselves. Many “patriots” have been unsuccessfully demanding the release of Peskov and part of his entourage, claiming that they cannot win the war without it. It’s even funnier when high-ranking Katsap warlords, who failed to raise their children in their imperial traditions and are now trying to cover up and protect them, become directly dependent on the actions of their children. For example, in June 2019, many representatives of the “liberal opposition” were embarrassed and delighted by the absence of detentions in St. Petersburg at numerous rallies in defense of journalist Ivan Golunov. However, it was not about the sympathy of St. Petersburg security forces for the opposition journalist. An order came from Moscow not to touch the picketers, because among them was Alexander Stasev, the son of Admiral Alexander Anatolyevich Stasev, another influential Russian intelligence chief.
One could attribute the young man’s participation in the action to youthful maximalism and a keen sense of justice, but the “young man” was already in his 30s and had worked (albeit not particularly well) for various opposition publications and for the organization Smart Voting.
However, Admiral Alexander Anatolyevich Stasev is clearly the very embodiment of tolerance and the “new generation of leaders,” as his son belongs to the rainbow wing of the opposition, being a veteran of the St. Petersburg LGBT community and a regular on thematic forums and relevant dating sites. Thus, from the correspondence that came to our attention on the odious website “Hornet” it follows that the flaccid Alexander, being in a passive role, is looking for an active and muscular patron, one of whom in November 2020 became a big guy with the nickname Lexx (@Kastor_beige, id: 809236781), aka Max-sport, aka Mikhail Tarasenko, with whom he spent time in the famous St. Petersburg Blue Oyster and Central Station, favorite places of St. Petersburg gay men.
But with the outbreak of Russia’s war with Ukraine, the liberal O. Stasev told his father that he could not live in a totalitarian aggressor country and planned to emigrate. His father only asked him not to ruin his career. In addition, judging by the active search for a wealthy fellow traveler to emigrate in March-April 2022 on the Hornet, the admiral did not spare money for his son at that time. However, in the summer of 2022, Alexander appeared in Belgrade, where he settled in the prestigious Novi Beograd neighborhood near the popular Delta shopping center. Rental prices in the Serbian capital, which is crowded with Russian emigrants and is a transit point for most of them on their way to the EU, almost doubled in 2022. However, Stasev Jr. has money to spare. Moreover, activists, especially from the LGBT community, are actively supported by Western foundations, which are plentiful in Serbia, and the admiral’s father does not abandon his son. In addition, once a week, Stasev stands at rallies with the Ukrainian flag (a prerequisite for receiving American grants for an emigrant asset). He also got a job in the banned in Russia publication “The Village”, where, under the pseudonym Alexander Yordanov, he has been publishing articles about the crimes of the Russian military and the suffering of the LGBT community under the yoke of the Putin regime since 2016. Meanwhile, his father quietly continues his career, trying to ensure the success of the Russian offensive in Ukraine. It would seem to be a wonderful Christmas story about a young man who chose European values and defends the freedom of Ukraine and Russia, despite his origins. However, Alexander has not broken with his father, and it is on his money that he lives in a nice apartment and goes to the Egal club, which is popular among the Serbian LGBT community. While defending European values, he did not even think to tell about his father’s crimes. And at the same time, he continues to actively look for candidates for the role of “husband” because only same-sex couples from Russia and Eastern Europe are granted residence permits and green cards in England and the United States. The new muscular comforts of the emigrant from Moscow are the Lithuanian Lukas (@lukasnau +37062925279) and the Serbian Maxim (@maxand007, +381603033454), and their cute chirping in June-July 2022 in Belgrade is shown above.
However, the latter example in any case perfectly characterizes the Russian elites, from whom even their children, who flee to the West, turn away.
The war has created a paradoxical situation in Russia. Dozens and hundreds of senior officials are afraid not only to act, but also to speak. Political jesters like Vitaly Milonov, who have nothing to lose, are on the front lines of the information front. Many serious politicians shy away from making really important decisions and putting forward initiatives that could help Russia’s victory in Ukraine. By their inaction and quiet sabotage, they are saving their families, assets, and possibly their positions in the Russia of the future, whose time will certainly come soon. Moreover, given that no serious personnel purges have taken place in the Russian Federation in the year since the start of the aggression, we can state with satisfaction that the Russian leadership is unable to do anything to save itself and will go to negotiations and make any concessions to Kyiv and our Western partners at the first opportunity.