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Edward Lucas as agent provocateur

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Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

Five seconds of Ed Lucas is ten seconds more than I can stand.

Command from marknesop.wordpress.com,
December 13, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Edward Lucas hits the nail on the head when he himself says “The easiest to rebut say that I am a warmongering puppet of the military industrial complex, creating a Russian bogeyman in order to scare voters and get politicians to buy expensive weapons systems.”   

 

Agent provocateur - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An agent provocateur (French for "inciting agent") is an undercover agent who acts to entice another person to commit an illegal or rash act or falsely implicate them in partaking in an illegal act. An agent provocateur may be acting out of own sense of nationalism/duty or may be employed by the police or other entity to discredit or harm another group (e.g., peaceful protest or demonstration) by provoking them to commit a crime - thus, undermining the protest or demonstration as whole.

Agent provocateur activities raise ethical and legal issues. In common law jurisdictions, the legal concept of entrapment may apply if the main impetus for the crime was the provocateur.

In the United States, the COINTELPRO program of the Federal Bureau of Investigation includes FBI agents posing as political activists to disrupt the activities of political groups in the U.S., such as the Black Panthers, Ku Klux Klan, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and the American Indian Movement.

Essentially Lukas is trying to create conditions for repression of Western journalists in Russia, acting in this sense as a typical agent provocateur. His pathological Russophobia can't be sincere and we only can guess about real motives and organizations behind his back,

Here is an interesting post and discussion about this character (Edward Lucas Stories From Myanus):

Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Spanish author of “Shadow of the Wind“, wrote, “A story is a letter that the author writes to himself, to tell himself things that he would be unable to discover otherwise”.

And sometimes, a story is a letter the author writes to himself, to tell himself that his fantasies have come true and that things he wishes were so, are so. Lies My Mirror Told Me.

How about we look at an example – Edward Lucas’s “Renewal Amid the Decay“; his predictions for 2013, and annual love letter to the Baltic States. I ran across it linked in another European Voices piece, and – knowing my respectful worship of Edward Lucas – both Cartman and Mike Averko also linked it in comments. Alex Mercouris mentioned Lucas writes every year that Russia is about to collapse any minute now, and his readership never seems to be put off by the fact that it didn’t happen. They don’t seem to notice that it is actually growing wealthier and more influential every year, either, but that’s because they are Edward Lucas readers, and in the mystical land of Myanus – the source of Lucas’s inspiration – none of that is happening.

Anyway, as I said, we’re going to take a look at it. But first, since we have lots of time and it might be fun to put Alex’s theory to the test, let’s go back in time – weeeeeeooooooooo ….back to 2007. Here’s Lucas – who, we might as well get this on the table right up front, is an overrated, pretentious, black-hole-for-reality hack who is to the world of introspective policy analysis what parachute pants were to the world of fashion – in 2007, with his forecast of how the world is going to shake out in 2008. From the vantage point of being able to look back on 2008, how did he do?

Right out of the gate, Lucas foretold that most of the ex-Communist countries of Eastern Europe would join the Shengen passport-free area as of January 1st. Bzzzzttt!!! Wrong. The only country that joined the Shengen area in 2008 was Liechtenstein. Never a Communist country, I’m afraid. Poland was already a member, since 2004, so it didn’t take much vision to see that it would be in 2008; but I hope that Bulgaria, Romania and Georgia did not break out the party hats and champagne. Poland joined them for a double boning when Lucas predicted they would be included in the USA’s Visa Waiver Program (VWP) for visa-free travel to the United States, as George W. Bush flamed out like a dying Cherries Jubilee, flinging favours about him indiscriminately in gratitude for those who helped him conquer Iraq. Bzzzzzttt!! That didn’t happen, either – to this day, 5 years later.

Mr. Lucas then went into a little shuck-and-jive about NATO membership, speculating that there would be renewed pressure to “[set] Georgia, along with Croatia, Albania and Macedonia, further on the road to membership of NATO. That will infuriate the hawks in the Kremlin, who will use it as an excuse to edge closer to America’s rivals and bugbears such as China and Iran.” In fact, Croatia and Albania were admitted in 2009. Georgia and Macedonia, afraid not. And Lucas probably should not sound so gleeful about the Kremlin “edging closer to China”, since the latter is moving rapidly to world’s largest economy. It is also the third-ranked country for military power, with a standing military of over 2 million, another 800,000 in the reserves, huge reserves of foreign cash and gold, and another 19 million men reaching military age every year. China’s older platforms are steadily being replaced with new weaponry and indigenous fifth-generation fighters. And it is right next to Russia, both geographically and on this list; Russia is military power number 2. Still giggling, Ed?

... ... ...

The window for constructive dialogue with Russia is closing. Nuts like Edward Lucas are trying to slam it shut. Are you sure that’s what you want? 

marknesop, January 19, 2013 at 1:47 pm

...Lucas fails to consider these factors in any real way when he makes his blithe predictions. He simply assumes the power of his intellect is enough to alter destiny. Once upon a time you had to earn the right to condescend by being brilliant; these days, apparently, it’s sufficient just to be arrogant. Therefore, it’s easy to predict the USA will dump Canada for Norway in terms of strategic partners as long as you completely ignore economic and geopolitical realities. Similarly, he predicts the signing of major treaties and agreements with no apparent understanding of the process involved or how long it takes, or whether or not the actual conclusion of the deal would be to the benefit of the more powerful partner – which is always the deciding factor.

I agree Russia would be well-served to cultivate an alliance with China, but cautiously, because China can be a rapacious partner and it shows little regard for intellectual property rights, as its roundabout ripoff of Russian aircraft designs illustrates. China recognizes no equals and is ruthless about achieving its objectives; it would have to learn the value of partnership rather than imposed servitude, and its fairly easy economic conquest has not really taught it much of a lesson – China should realize that the enemy in that case supplied the sinews of his own destruction. But Russia has an advantage owing to geography, just as Canada has with the USA. China would not sit by and let a secure energy source upon which it depends become insecure and in the hands of those who would order it about if they could.

Lucas likes the idea of superstar Baltic states because he sees their membership in the EU as a tribute to European soft power, just as he says; they have to enjoy an instant boost in lifestyle and self-determination, because being part of the EU is just good for you, everyone should envy you – especially Russia.

kirill, January 19, 2013 at 5:10 pm

His obsession with the Baltics does not really make sense. These countries are not going to shape the economic future of the EU and Russia. And are not such a big achievement in terms of “soft power” since they rabidly hate Russia. Now the Ukraine and Belorus in the EU and NATO would be something to chirp about by such a drone but that ain’t happening.

marknesop, January 19, 2013 at 6:34 pm

In fact, he is particularly vituperative toward Ukraine since the Great Promise Of The Orange Revolution failed, and in that event he cared nothing for the people of Ukraine, only that it would hurt Russia. There’s something wrong with Ed Lucas, and it has nothing to do with his being an intellectual.

Misha, January 19, 2013 at 7:16 pm

One of several eXile run articles lean in that direction:

http://www.exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=14038&IBLOCK_ID=35&PAGE=1

For the record, I’m all for interacting on the technical merits minus personal asides as much as possible.

kirill, January 19, 2013 at 7:55 pm

If it was just a matter of selling the magazine then they would do it on every occasion for anyone. No, this is deliberate targeting of Russia with hate propaganda. Zaitchik also panders to the tropes about Russia becoming more authoritarian. BS. It is way freer today than in the 1990s “golden era” of Yeltsin. The freedom I talk about is not of the Khodorkovsky immunity from prosecution or even investigation for gangland murders.

marknesop, January 19, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Edward Lucas is impervious to personal asides, and in his mind criticism of him only showcases the ignorance of the critic. This, too, is typical of the hardcore Russophobe – those who pan or criticize their material do so out of fear that they are “hitting too close to the mark”, and are terrified by their sword of truthiness. Again, fine by me.

People who believe their enemy is reacting desperately and out of weakness are generally satisfied to just pat themselves on the back and trumpet more bilious foolishness. Both are harmless, and an insult from a fool is a compliment.

Misha, January 19, 2013 at 9:16 pm

One Russophile leaning source privately said that Lucas is good at picking his spots.

With selectivity, he’s sure to use this line in a reverse mode:

“People who believe their enemy is reacting desperately and out of weakness are generally satisfied to just pat themselves on the back and trumpet more bilious foolishness. Both are harmless, and an insult from a fool is a compliment.”

Alexander Mercouris, January 19, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Dear Mark,

This is a very fine demolition of Ed Lucas.

Ed Lucas has always struck me as the Prince amongst Russophobes. Partly this is because of the influence he wields through the Economist. One of the most effective comments I ever read about him was written some years ago by Eric Kraus, who had a meeting with Ed Lucas shortly after the rouble devaluation of 1998. Kraus has very wittily described the apocalyptic predictions concerning Russia Ed Lucas made to him during this meeting not one of which came true. Kraus has also expressed his bewildermentthat someone who was so completely and entirely wrong could retain not just credibility but his post at the Economist thereafter.

Kraus’s bewilderment is shared by me. I think you hit on the nail on the head when you say that Ed Lucas predicts what he wishes. What he wishes first and foremost is Russia’s misfortune. Thus he wishes Russia’s economy to decay so he predicts it. He wishes Russia to lose what he sees as its energy dominance in Europe, so he predicts it. He wants to see Norway forge an alliance with the US because he wants Norway to challenge Russia’s position in Europe as an energy supplier and (alongside the US) in the Arctic, so he predicts it. He is a true believer in the shale gas revolution because he believes it will cause Russia to lose its market as an energy supplier,.which he has convinced himself is all that holds its economy together, so he predicts it. He wants Finland and Sweden to forge an alliance against Russia to challenge Russia along with the Baltic States in the Baltic, so he predicts it. Having just been to Finland I can say by the way that that idea is a complete fantasy. I came away with the clear impression that at popular level at least there is far more suspicion of Swedes amongst Finns than there is of Russians and with memories of Finland’s defeat by Russia during the Second World War still fresh being part of an anti Russian alliance would not be popular at all. Anyway I read articles whilst in Finland which which made it absolutely clear that the Finnish army for fairly obvious reasons wants to avoid any sort of confrontation with Russia. As for Ed Lucas’s love for the Baltic States that is surely motivated in part at least by the hostility of their governments to Russia, which of course he shares.

I do not understand the reasons for Ed Lucas’s hostility to Russia. I find it difficult to understand feellings of such irrational intensity. What this hostiliy has done is totally unbalance any ability Ed Lucas’s might have to judge not just Russia but world politics in general. In the end everything for him comes down to Russia.

If Ed Lucas was an isolated figure it would be easy to dismiss him as a crank. Unfortunately he is not. There is an alarmingly large number of people who share his views whilst his position in the Economist confers on his views a degree of respect and authority that they entirely do not merit. The result is that though he will go on being wrong, he will also go on being listened to.

kirill, January 19, 2013 at 5:19 pm

A puzzle indeed. But the west’s hate on Russia is centuries old. As was mentioned on this board by whom I forget, there was an anti-Russia propaganda campaign in the British media before the Crimean war. Perhaps Lucas’ puppet masters think he is a useful tool to further their economic and political agendas. I think they are all a bunch of degenerates who need to be euthanized. These clown deciders are driving the world into the toilet by pretending fossil fuels will last forever and climate change is something of interest only to some leftie environmentalists. I can sort of understand them being afraid to lose their wealth and power and thus resorting to rabid denial and pursuance of business as usual, but their phobias are not an excuse and the last thing the world needs from people in charge of society shaping decisions.

Picking a fight with Russia over what amounts to nothing is just sick. Russia’s resources will not save the west and the world from the brick wall into which it is headed at 300 km/h. Trying to make it into a banana republic is utterly pointless.

Misha,

January 19, 2013 at 7:08 pm

From the distance of a TV set, I saw him speak at a RFE/RL gathering before his admiring hosts:

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/NewCol


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[Jul 01, 2015] A warmongering puppet of the military industrial complex, creating a Russian bogeyman in order to scare voters and get politicians to buy expensive weapons systems

Drutten , June 30, 2015 at 11:57 pm
About that Edward Lucas "report" I mentioned a few pages back and which made its rounds in mainly Scandinavian media last week, in which it was alleged that Russia was exercising to invade Sweden (namely the island of Gotland)… I already pointed out some glaring errors in this so-called report, and as anybody who read it could see it was basically all wild speculation, exaggerations, plenty of blatant factual errors and lies by omission.

Now, Swedish top brass are too trashing it:
http://www.svt.se/nyheter/utrikes/ob-tvivlar-pa-rysk-gotlandsovning

Supreme commander Sverker Göransson says he read the report and was not impressed, saying "show me any sort of scientific basis for it." A senior Swedish state military academy researcher at the war studies division quoted by Swedish media says "[the report] is meant to affect us, to whip up tensions, it's not an objective report at all."

Like I said earlier, the "report" is just wild speculation with a good chunk of sensationalism and russophobia. The only objective fact in it is that Russia has always had a small collection (compared to the US for instance) of various (mostly outdated) ships and amphibious craft designed to land troops, and during one exercise they took them out for a spin, in Russia. If this is enough to declare that Russia's planning to invade everyone and their mothers, then pray tell what the hell do you make out of the dozens of annual landing exercises that the US marine corps carry out all over the world? Including right next to Russia.

I just noticed that in his "report" Lucas also said that Russia was rehearsing the nuking of Warzaw for no particular reason during these exercises, by the way. Ties in well with the irrational, unpredictable, unprovoked and unbridled utter evil that is Russia – right?

Terje, July 1, 2015 at 1:34 am

CEPA (Center for European Policy Analysis) who published that report has a nice unbiased advisory board amongst others:
Madeleine Albright, Zbigniew Brzezinski , Anne Applebaum ,and the biggest American stooge ever to be in existence, Carl Bildt.
http://www.cepa.org/contacts/Advisory%20Council
I see the historian Norman Davies is there too. I liked his histories of Britain and Europe. It must be his Polish history connections that brings him into this embarrassing company.

Edward Lucas hits the nail on the head when he himself says "The easiest to rebut say that I am a warmongering puppet of the military industrial complex, creating a Russian bogeyman in order to scare voters and get politicians to buy expensive weapons systems."

yalensis, July 1, 2015 at 3:13 am
Ha ha!
If one deletes the first 6 words from Lucas sentence above, then he made a completely true statement, for the first time in his life!
Cortes, July 1, 2015 at 4:46 am
Davies's book "Vanished Kingdoms " is embarrassingly antiRussian in its chapters dealing with Galicia and Lithuania.
Moscow Exile, July 1, 2015 at 4:26 am
Lucas on "Opposition Leader" Nemtsov's death:

My friend Boris Nemtsov lies dead in a Moscow morgue, and having felt misery and fury at the opposition leader's death on Friday evening, now I am simply afraid.

I fear for what his assassination may herald: either a return to a terrifying past, or a descent into a still more alarming future.

For Russia's history is drenched in blood and tears, and it would not be the first time that a single high-profile murder has spiralled into a widespread cycle of death.

Yeah, Edward! How many weeks ago was that?

Weeks, did I say?

It was on February 27th of this year when Boris the Shagger bit the dust – four months ago!!!

And no, blood is not flowing; there is no wailing and gnashing of teeth; people are not roaming the streets and pulling out their hair in both grief and fear; murder and mayhem and mass arrests are not afoot: people are not vanishing, never to be seen again and at night trains of cattle waggons are not rattling out of the goods yards to roll out eastwards to the Gulag Archipelago.

And Putin's policies have acuired a popularity rating of 89%.

You were so wrong again, dear Headbanger Edward!

See: My friend's murder and chilling echoes of Stalin: How Boris Nemtsov's assassination may herald a return to the terrifying past or a descent into a still more alarming future – by EDWARD LUCAS

Courtesy the Daily Fail.

By the way, Edward, old boy – was Nemtsov really your "old friend"?

[Feb 11, 2015] The Bout Opening – Stick to Checkers, America. Not Up In Here

marknesop.wordpress.com

Tim Owen, February 10, 2015 at 8:08 pm

I thought this kind of wonderful.

http://cepa.org/content/ukraine's-pain-europe's-shame-what-can-america-do

This is Edward Lucas wearing his other hat: think-tank whore.

Best excerpts. Compare this…

"Belarus is subtly different. It is on Europe's doorstep. The regime is not quite as bad. We have more room for maneuver there, chiefly because we are not dependent on its oil. We can engage in some subversive activities, trying to split or undermine the regime. We can easily reach ordinary Belarusians, encouraging them to visit, work, study and trade with us."

To this:

"For the Ukrainian authorities, the Association Agreement offered a dubious proposition. It brought short-term economic pain (such as lost jobs and revenues from dropping tariff barriers to European imports). It committed them to deep political and administrative changes, which would destroy their modus operandi - a mixture of election rigging, bullying, media manipulation, interference in the judicial process and other dark arts. The European option was worth considering, because it looked good and created a bargaining chip with the Kremlin. But it was not pursued with conviction."

Dark arts?

Jesus?

How far up your own arse does your own head have to be to not recognize your face from the INSIDE?

marknesop, February 10, 2015 at 10:19 pm

It's funny you should mention that, because I was going to suggest Edward Lucas take up proctology. He should already be well-known as someone who is never right, literally, couldn't be trusted to search for lettuce in a green salad. But in that field, being wrong would actually make him popular – "Oh, dear; this looks like prostate cancer to me!" Whoops, no it isn't, fool, but I feel so good now that I'm going to pay you anyway, and recommend you to all my friends.

If I were Edward Lucas, I would be suicidal at the thought that even that little weather-forecasting rock they used to sell – you know, it hung on a string from a piece of stick, and came with instructions like "Rock is wet – it is raining. Rock is swaying – the wind is blowing" and similar witticisms – had been reliably right more often than I had. But it does not appear to bother him. Worse still, it does not deter him.

[Dec 09, 2013] Edward Lucas Satuday provocation: dezo about Ukraine joining Custom union

Slightly edited Google translation... What a master of hypocrisy and deception this particular British journalist is... His colleagues from MI5 probably are really envious.
Dec 07, 2013 | vzglyad.ru

One of the major news Saturday in Ukraine and Russia was the twit of a British journalist , which eventually had to refute both Russia and Ukraine . In it he stated that that Yanukovich at a meeting with Putin in Sochi allegedly signed an agreement obliging Ukraine to join the Customs Union. Who injected this dezo and to whom it may be beneficial ?

" The eventual accession to the Customs Union of Ukraine was achived during the meeting did not specify... The agreement includes a one-time Ukraine tranche in the amount of $ 5 billion , as well as the conclusion of a new contract for the supply of gas at a price of 200 dollars per thousand cubic meters of gas instead of serving from 2009 rate of $ 500 ."

This twit message was published Saturday in his "Twitter" employee magazine The Economist Edward Lucas . According to him, Western governments shocked by such developments .Journalist insists that his information obtained from reliable sources. However, for some reason, he published such a sensational information on Twitter, not in the media and on his page on the social network.

This Twitter message was picked up by the media who actually passed it as news. It immediately aroused very strong reaction among the Ukrainian opposition. Not surprising, since some of the headlines sounded extremely provocative - "Yanukovich sold Ukraine to Putin."

For example, one of the leaders of the Ukrainian opposition Yatsenyuk said in an interview with Reuters, that the signing of the President of Ukraine of any agreement related to the entry into the Customs Union, will lead to a new protest . His colleague in the party "Fatherland" Mykola Tomenko Yanukovych demanded unveil text of the agreement with Russia, which he allegedly signed in Sochi.

... ... ...

On Saturday, President's press secretary , Dmitry Peskov, Russia was forced to officially declare that Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yanukovych at a meeting in Sochi on Friday did not discuss the possibility of Ukraine's accession to the Customs Union .

He added that in the context of the forthcoming meeting of the interstate commission Russia - Ukraine presidents of the two countries " exchanged views on the possible continuation and development of cooperation in industry and high-tech fields , particularly in the aerospace and shipbuilding, rocket and space industry ."

According to Peskov , the presidents discussed bilateral cooperation in energy, closer positions on this issue , but did not reach a final agreement .

" The eventual accession to the Customs Union of Ukraine during the meeting did not specify . No documents to be signed during the meeting was not planned and have been signed ", - assured the administration of Ukrainian President also . Earlier, a source in the Ukrainian government said that the signing of the documents would be impossible as documents did not passed a standrd Parlament discussion process.

[Dec 08, 2013] An Old Game With New Rules In Russia's Backyard

A typical example of Lukas propaganda. That's the same Edward Lukas who engineered a provocation about Ukraine joining Custom Union on Saturday...

A former Soviet republic has its sights set on moving closer to Europe, a move staunchly opposed by Moscow.

With the Kremlin's tacit support, one of its majority ethnic-Russian cities votes to secede, sparking fears of violent conflict. Officials in Moscow vow to defend the rights of its smaller neighbor's Russian-speaking residents.

Ukraine or Moldova in 2013? Not quite. This scenario played out, peacefully in the end, in the Estonian city of Narva during the summer of 1993, less than two years after the Soviet Union dissolved. Today, the Russian-speaking residents of Narva -- EU passports in hand -- are far less restive.

The Kremlin's current drive to prevent Ukraine, Armenia, and Moldova from signing Association Agreements with the European Union has again focused attention on Moscow pressuring its neighbors into remaining Russia's sphere of influence.

But as the averted conflict in Estonia two decades ago illustrates, this is nothing new. Almost from the moment the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, Russia has been leaning hard on its former vassals -- stoking conflicts in Georgia and Moldova and stirring unrest among Russian speakers in the Baltics and in Ukraine.

But while Moscow's policy toward its so-called "near abroad" has been consistent, analysts say the game in the post-Soviet neighborhood has changed dramatically. The West -- and particularly the European Union -- is becoming more proactive. The Kremlin has become more focused in pursuing its interests. And Russia's former Soviet neighbors have become increasingly confident in charting an independent course.

According to John Lough, a former NATO official who is now a fellow at Chatham House's Russia and Eurasia Program, this all adds up to the region becoming "an area of increased competition" between Moscow and the West.

"I think the Russian approach has become more coherent," he says. "But at the same time, those countries around it have become much stronger."

EU Gets Tough

Observers say the EU's more forward leaning profile in places like Ukraine and Moldova is a direct result of Moscow's tactics in the region, which have included boycotts, threats of trade wars, using energy to gain political leverage, and inciting unrest among Russophone minorities.

He believes the current situation "is teaching the EU that whether they like it or not they are in a geopolitical clash with Russia."

"There has been this naive assumption in the EU in the past that there are lots of win-win [situations] out there and if we only talk nicely to the Russians then everything will be fine," he says. "It's not. It's pretty much a zero-sum game and either you go with Russia or the EU. And I think the EU has had to fight much tougher than it's done in the past."

Moreover, as memories of the Soviet Union fade and Russia's neighbors become more comfortable with their sovereignty, they have become more willing to resist pressure from Moscow. Lucas says this tendency has been reinforced by the stronger European presence.

"The West has gotten much more entrenched in these countries and the national consciousness is more developed," he says. "People in Belarus or eastern Ukraine genuinely believe they are in a real country, whereas back in the early 1990s it hadn't clicked for a lot of people that the Soviet Union was over. So the national identities are stronger."

Lucas adds that trade in many post-Soviet states has been "hugely reoriented" toward the West creating "a stronger base for European influence."

Old Habits Die Hard

Nevertheless, Moscow still has cards to play.

Strong networks continue to exist between Russia's political and business elites and those in its former Soviet neighbors. Corruption remains rife and many prefer the clannish post-Soviet style of doing business than the more transparent model that integration with Europe would entail.

"The Russians know that their way of doing business is widely accepted in many of these countries and that there are people in the business and political elites in those places who would prefer to operate in the Russian way," says Lough.

Lough adds, however that even these elites are resistant to accepting a "diktat from Moscow" and that too much Kremlin pressure could drive them away. And, he says, others already "see what the Russians are offering as a scary proposition."

Nevertheless, Russia appears determined as ever to prevent Ukraine, Moldova, and Armenia from signing Association Agreements with the European Union at a summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius in November.

Instead, Moscow is pushing these countries to join a Russian-led customs union that already includes Belarus and Kazakhstan -- something Brussels says would be incompatible with an Association Agreement.

And at least in the case of Armenia, Russia appears to have been successful. On September 3, Armenian President President Serzh Sarkisian announced that his country would join Moscow's customs union project, in essence, scrapping years of work toward an EU Association Agreement.

Analysts say the unexpected move came after Russia threatened to cut off its military aid to Armenia, which would leave Yerevan vulnerable to its main regional rival Azerbaijan.

"The Armenians took the hint: If they signed the trade deal with Europe, Russia might sell more arms to their rival and expel the Armenians who live in Russia," Anne Applebaum, author of the book "Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945-56," wrote in Slate.com.

Counterproductive Pressure

But having apparently cowed Armenia, Russia is having less success with Ukraine -- which Lough calls "the key prize" -- despite placing boycotts on Ukrainian goods and threatening Kyiv with rising gas prices, trade wars, and bankruptcy.

And on September 21, Sergei Glaziyev, a senior adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, upped the ante, darkly warning that Russian speakers in Ukraine's east and south would seek secession if Ukraine goes ahead and signs the Association Agreement.

But Glaziyev, who made his remarks at a conference in the Black Sea resort of Yalta, was met with boos, jeers, and catcalls.

"For the first time in our history more than 50 percent of people support European integration, and fewer than 30 percent of the people support closer ties with Russia," Ukraine's former Trade Minister Petro Poroshenko said in response to the Kremlin adviser according to press reports. "Thank you very much for that Mr. Glazyev."

Indeed, Ukraine's move closer to the EU -- and its defiance of Moscow -- comes under President Viktor Yanukovych, who won election in February 2010 on a platform of closer relations with Russia.

And the country's powerful Russian-speaking oligarchs in eastern Ukraine, once staunchly pro-Moscow, have been making it increasingly clear that they prefer closer relations with the EU.

Analysts say Russia's deep historical ties to Ukraine often cause Moscow to overplay its hand in dealing with Kyiv.

"Russia finds it terribly difficult to deal with Ukraine because it is such an emotional issue," says Lough. "The heart seems to get in the way of the head and invariably they seem to adopt policies that are counterproductive and wind up driving Ukrainians away."

Like in Ukraine, Moscow's efforts to persuade Moldova to forego an EU Association Agreement are also making little headway. On September 11, Russia banned Moldovan wines and spirits, claiming they contain impurities.

In response, Dacian Ciolos, the EU's commissioner for agriculture has proposed eliminating all restrictions on Moldovan wine imports ahead of Moldova's initialing of an Association Agreement. Moldova's Foreign Minister, Natalia Gherman, told RFE/RL that Chisinau is "strong enough to resist any pressure" from Russia as it strengthens ties with the European Union.

Analysts nevertheless expect Russia to continue ramping up the pressure on Kyiv and Chisinau in the two months remaining before the EU's Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius.

"We're still more in the overture to the opera than in the opera itself," says Lucas. "The people in the countries concerned know that there is a lot more that Russia can do. If you have an unpleasant dog and it growls you don't need for it to bite you in order to be scared."

Longtime Kremlin-watcher Edward Lucas is the International Editor for the British weekly "The Economist" and author of the book "Deception: Spies, Lies, and How Russia Dupes the West."

Lucas alleges that the Russian drills earlier this year were essentially invasion rehearsals, aimed at Sweden, Norway etc

Drutten, June 25, 2015 at 2:03 am
Edward Lucas is at it again, apparently. This so-called "report" was widely quoted in Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian media today:
http://www.cepa.org//sites/default/files/styles/medium/Baltic%20Sea%20Security%20Report-%20%282%29.compressed.pdf

Russia bad, Russia this and that. Russian aggression. Russian aggression. Russian aggression. You know the drill.

Lucas alleges that the Russian drills earlier this year were essentially invasion rehearsals, aimed at Sweden, Norway etc. He offers no evidence of this, only wild conjecture. Lucas also does not mention that the March readiness drill in the north he is referring to was a direct response to the NATO drill "Joint Viking" that took place next to the Russian border a week earlier.

Lucas also takes for granted that the alleged submarines in Sweden and Finland were Russian, and that this is yet another example of evil bad Russia. This despite the fact that neither Sweden nor Finland has named any particular foreign country as having been involved in this, instead both have urged caution and stressed that they haven't actually confirmed any submarines at all.

In light of this, Lucas calling the Finnish depth charges dropped as being "the first "kinetic" response to Russian aggression in the Baltics since the height of the Cold War" is just comedy gold. It's not only an example of highly unprofessional and frankly, laughable conjecture, there's a blatant lie on top of it all. Finland dropped depth charges against a suspected submarine object back in 2004, for instance. Shows just how much of an "expert" Lucas really is…

There's so much crap in this "report" that it's painful to read. Take for example what Lucas thinks is the reason why Russia won't actually invade everybody for now – it must first recall its "15,000-20,000 forces that are currently involved in operations in and around Ukraine" for without these Russia is crippled. You see, it can't fight "two wars" at the same time!

Ok, I'll stop before I get more grey hair than what is reasonable for a person of my age.

Economist Editor's Tweets Create International Incident As Ukraine Frets Over Russia Deal

A rumor Ukraine's president had agreed to join a customs union with Russia provoked fury in Kiev, where protesters are calling for a million people to demonstrate Sunday. "Twitter is like striking matches and throwing them into the dark."

Ukrainian president agrees to join Customs Union - source - News - Politics - The Voice of Russia News, Breaking news, Politic

Some Russian source also get caught in this provocation....

Lucas writes that Yanukovych signed a strategic agreement with Russia in Sochi today. The agreement comprises $5bln with advanced payment, $200 gas price and joining the Customs Union. In addition, he reports, Yanukovych may receive $15bln from Moscow.

Lucas writes that western governments are shocked. This is unconfirmed information but the sources are good, he adds.

Voice of Russia, RBC

Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_07/Ukrainian-president-agrees-to-join-Customs-Union-source-1274/

Yanukovych's secret meeting with Putin raises questions of Customs Union promise (UPDATED)

A secret meeting between Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Dec. 6 has fueled speculation as to whether a deal was made for Ukraine at a later date to join the Kremlin-led Customs Union.

Yanukovych stopped in Sochi on his way back to Ukraine from a three-day working visit to China, where he met with officials in hope of shoring up investment deals in order to stave off serious economic problems in Ukraine.

He and Putin met in the Black Sea resort city to discuss new agreements on "trade and economic cooperation in different economic spheres and preparation to the future Strategic Partnership Agreement," according to a statement released by the president's press service.

But the fact that the meeting was the fourth of its kind in recent weeks further fueled speculation that a plan had been hatched for Ukraine's accession to the Customs Union, which includes Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. Armenia in recent weeks agreed also to join.

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov told journalists previously that the president would at some point soon visit Moscow, where a "major agreement" would be signed.

That "major agreement", according to a Kyiv Post source within the Ukrainian government who asked to remain anonymous because he was not allowed to speak publicly about the presidents' meeting, confirmed that a money deal was reached, but provided no specifics.

But Edward Lucas, a senior editor at The Economist, said via Twitter that the results of the meeting between the two presidents were much bigger than a deal for Russia to supply cash-starved Ukraine with much necessary financing.

"Wow! Hearing Yanukovich in Sochi today signed strategic agrt w Russia includes $5BN+ up front, gas price $200 + agrt to join customs union," Lucas said, citing his own sources.

The details of the agreement to join the Customs Union, which reportedly include billions up front for the country, as well as a huge price cut on gas, were being hammered out in Moscow late on Dec. 6, Lucas wrote.

The Kyiv Post could not independently confirm Lucas' news. A Kremlin official contacted by Kyiv Post denied to comment and said only to look for statements on the Kremlin's official website. As of 11:40 a.m. on Dec. 7, the only statement posted to the site confirmed a visit by Yanukovych to Sochi.

However, RIA Novosti, the Russian state-owned news agency, quoted Putin's head spokesperson Dmitry Peskov as saying that "Putin and Yanukovych at a meeting on Friday in Sochi did not discuss the possibility of Ukraine joining the Customs Union."

"Putin and Yanukovych did discuss the current state and prospects of bilateral cooperation in the financial sphere (between Russia and Ukraine)," Peskov added. "On all these topics in the near future negotiations will continue at the expert level."

Whether true or not, the news of a potential deal for Ukraine to join the Kremlin-led trade bloc is certain to incite anger on the streets of Ukraine, where tens of thousands have protested for more than three weeks the Ukrainian government's decision to abandon long-anticipated agreements on association and free trade with the European Union.

Ahead of Lucas' news, Arseniy Yatseniuk, leader of the Batkivschyna faction, warned that the signing by Yanukovych of any agreement aimed at joining Ukraine to the Customs Union will cause a second wave of mass protests here.

"Their attempts to sell Ukraine to Russia will not lead to anything except one thing, and we are officially warning you: if Viktor Yanukovych tries to sign any agreement aimed at joining Ukraine to the Customs Union, it will cause another wave of protests in Ukraine," he said. "No one will let Yanukovych sell the country."

Kyiv Post editor Christopher J. Miller can be reached at miller@kyivpost.com

http://www.vzglyad.ru/economy/2013/12/7/663287.html by Ольга Самофалова

7 декабря 2013

Много шума из ничего

Россия и Украина вынуждены опровергать слух о сделке, якобы заключенной Путиным и Януковичем

Одной из главных новостей субботы стало сообщение британского журналиста, которое в итоге вынуждены были опровергать и Россия, и Украина. Речь шла о том, что Янукович на встрече с Путиным в Сочи якобы подписал соглашение, обязывающее Украину вступить в Таможенный союз. Кто вбросил это сообщение и кому это может быть выгодно?

На встрече Владимира Путина и Виктора Януковича в Сочи достигнута договоренность о вступлении Украины в Таможенный союз до 2015 года, когда на Украине состоятся очередные президентские выборы.

"Возможного присоединения Украины к Таможенному союзу во время встречи не оговаривалось"

Соглашение включает в себя единовременный транш Украине в размере 5 млрд долларов, а также заключение нового контракта на поставки газа по цене 200 долларов за тысячу кубометров газа вместо действующей с 2009 года ставки в 500 долларов.

Такое сообщение в субботу опубликовал в своем "Твиттере" сотрудник журнала The Economist Эдвард Лукас. По его словам, власти западных стран шокированы подобным развитием ситуации.

Журналист настаивает, что его сведения получены из достоверных источников. Однако почему-то такую важную информацию он публикует не на страницах СМИ, а на своей странице в социальной сети.

Эта запись среди миллионов записей других пользователей в "Твиттере" была подхвачена СМИ, которые передавали ее фактически как новость. Она сразу вызвала крайне бурную реакцию среди украинской оппозиции. Неудивительно, ведь некоторые заголовки звучали крайне провокационно – "Янукович сдал Украину Путину".

Например, один из лидеров украинской оппозиции Арсений Яценюк заявил в интервью Reuters, что подписание президентом Украины любого соглашения, связанного со вступлением в Таможенный союз, приведет к новым акциям протеста. Его соратник по партии "Батькивщина" Николай Томенко потребовал от Януковича обнародовать текст соглашения с Россией, которое тот якобы подписал в Сочи.

Журналист и старший редактор журнала The Economist Эдвард Лукас (фото: <a href= http://www.edwardlucas.com/ target=_blank>edwardlucas.com</a>)

Журналист и старший редактор журнала The Economist Эдвард Лукас (фото: edwardlucas.com)

Напомним, о встрече Владимира Путина и Виктора Януковича в Сочи стало известно накануне в пятницу. Сообщалось, что Янукович прилетел к Путину по завершении официального визита в Китай. Россия официально заявила, что в ходе переговоров главы двух стран обсудили текущее состояние двусторонних отношений и вопросы, связанные с подготовкой к предстоящему в Москве заседанию российско-украинской межгосударственной комиссии. Пресс-служба Януковича также сообщила, что стороны говорили о подготовке будущего договора о стратегическом партнерстве. Речи о ТС не было.

В субботу пресс-секретарь президента России Дмитрий Песков вынужден был официально заявить: Владимир Путин и Виктор Янукович на встрече в пятницу в Сочи не обсуждали возможность вступления Украины в Таможенный союз.

Он добавил, что в контексте предстоящего заседания межгосударственной комиссии Россия – Украина президенты двух стран "обменялись мнениями относительно возможного продолжения и развития кооперации в промышленности и высокотехнологичных областях, в частности, в авиа- и судостроении, ракетостроении и космической сфере".

По словам Пескова, президенты обсудили сотрудничество двух стран в энергетике, сблизили позиции по этому вопросу, но окончательной договоренности не достигли.

"Возможного присоединения Украины к Таможенному союзу во время встречи не оговаривалось. Никаких документов к подписанию во время встречи не планировалось и не подписывалось", – заверила также администрация украинского президента. Ранее источник в украинском правительстве заявил, что подписания документов даже не могло быть, потому что никакой необходимой предварительной процедуры обсуждения эти документы не проходили.

"Он (Путин – прим. ВЗГЛЯД) очень хорошо умеет играть на слабостях Запада. Он хорошо умеет замечать наши ошибки и обращать их в свои победы. И это то, что произошло тут. Он увидел, что Восточное партнерство продвигалось людьми, которые не осознавали, что находятся в геополитическом противостоянии с Россией. Они думали, что все пройдет легко, потому что не видели причин, чтобы кто-то опасался ЕС. У Путина была потрясающая серия успехов в этом году. Сноуден, Сирия, Украина, торговые санкции с ЕС. ЕС ничего с этим не сделает. С этой атакой на литовский сыр тоже ничего. Так что у него был отличный год", – считает Лукас.

Иначе говоря, человек, который вбросил в информационное пространство слух о сделке, якобы заключенной между Путиным и Януковичем, является крайне ангажированным и крайне антироссийски настроенным журналистом, прямо поддерживающим одну из сторон конфликта, происходящего сейчас на Украине.

И сообщение Лукаса может быть этой стороне вполне выгодно. Как пишет в своем ЖЖ постоянный автор газеты ВЗГЛЯД, выступающий под псевдонимом Эль Мюрид, причиной появления подобного сообщения и столь бурной реакции на него может быть сугубо тактическая необходимость подстегнуть завтрашний митинг.

Но если, добавляет аналитик, информация о возможной договоренности между Януковичем и Путиным соответствует действительности, то события развиваются очень быстро и в ближайшее время разрешатся в ту или иную сторону. Вплоть до развала Украины как государства.

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Amazon.com The New Cold War Putin's Russia and the Threat to the West (9781137280039) Edward Lucas Books

An entertaining read, but take it with a grain of salt
By Mladen Nesic on August 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I read this book because I would like to add a Russian component to the masters thesis I am working on, and thought it would give me good background. Alas, while the book was an entertaining read, it is practically useless academically. Mr Lucas' prose drips with outrage and disdain toward Russia's leaders--and I sometimes got the feeling that his attitude extends toward all Russian people. Although I don't have a deep background in this field, it was pretty obvious that Mr Lucas glosses over very complicated events in order to substantiate his own rather simplistic argument. The book quotes very few sources and mostly regurgitates events that have already been widely reported on. The author's lack of nuance is the most troubling--everything boils down to Putin/Russia = power/control/corruption/bad--which left me with very little I could use in a serious paper. By the end of the book, I had the impression that I had read a polemic summary of everything bad the mainstream Western media has had to say about Russia over the past couple of years, which might explain why it appears to have gotten so many good reviews from major news outlets.

Mr Lucas may be right, and he certainly has a valid opinion on Russia's politics and the direction the country is going. However, I hope that anyone who would like to read this book understands what it is--the strongly written personal opinion of a journalist who has been covering Russia for a few years. It is certainly not an objective or meticulous study of any aspect of contemporary Russia.

1.0 out of 5 stars Worthless Militaristic Propaganda, September 23, 2014


Yuri "Yuri" (Queens, New York) - See all my reviews

This review is from: The New Cold War: Putin's Russia and the Threat to the West (Paperback)

A shameful propaganda exercise "updated" with the latest tidbits of innuendoes and lies. Here are just one example what passes on for "analysis". Russians who lived in Estonia and Latvia all their lives were deemed non-citizens over-night unless they learn to read, write and speak the local language which is no small feat for older people who of course we're not given passports and thus are not allowed to have EU privileges amongst other indignities. No European or an English-speaking country has such strict demands on Arabs, Kurds, Iraquis and numerous other immigrants to Europe and our country! Yet the author calls it "a mere need to learn the national language and the national history". What a farce! just ask Dominican grannies in the Bronx? Human Rights organizations cited these nationalist demands as excessive but Brussels, of course, looked the other way. And this only one example of the book infused with hysterical anti-Russian propaganda instead of broad and objective analysis. Of course, Mr. Lucas sharpened his claws in numerous yellow-journalism pieces while in the employ of "The Economist" and was rewarded with a U.S. fellowship at the anti-Russian think tank (CEPA) aiming at "promoting democracy" in the outlying countries of the former Soviet Union like, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus hence all the glowing comments and praises from his buddies at the Neo-cold war establishment. Don't waste money on such garbage. You can listen to it for free on the Fox News!

1.0 out of 5 stars Bullocks!, September 11, 2014, Mr.Dupont ""Religious Fanatic"" (Providence, RI USA) - See all my reviews

This review is from: The New Cold War: Putin's Russia and the Threat to the West (Paperback)

Admittedly, I couldn't get past the introduction. This propagandistic screed is just that - propaganda! Since the break-up of the Soviet Union it would be difficult to count on, well, with one finger the number of countries Russia has invaded or waged a proxy war, while we could easily speak differently of the West. In nearly the last twenty years the U.S. has either directly invaded, fomented a coup, or waged war via proxy in twenty different countries. The U.N. does nothing about this, while the Western press, give or take a few underground journalistic outlets, either dithers in silence or spins newspeak so as to fog the American people. The U.S. trounces the globe in the name of "democracy" and "freedom," of course, and presumes in doing so that no one has the right to challenge this sort of hegemony. Well, that is bullocks! Lucas is nothing more than a court apologist for the Western hawks who are seemingly willing to risk WWIII for the sake of profit and property. By all means, read the book, but keep your head on.

The Snowden Operation Inside the West's Greatest Intelligence Disaster (Kindle Single) - Kindle edition by Edward Lucas.

Deception The Untold Story of East-West Espionage Today Edward Lucas 9780802711571 Amazon.com Books

Deception Spies, Lies and How Russia Dupes the West of Lucas, Edward on 17 January 2013 Amazon.com Books



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