The Cyber-Cave

Reflections on the political, technological, cultural and economic trends of the world

A brief history of Russia


Okhrana secret police (some claim that some of its members were involved in the publication of the protocols of Zion). A famous member was Sergei Zubatov (1864-1917). Zubatov is known for the зуба́товщина technique: to divert potential protests against the government, ‘fake’ pro-government organisations are created.


Камера (Kamera): laboratory of Soviet secret police for testing poisoning in assassinations. Notable victims: Markov (a Bulgarian dissident) with a poisoned umbrella, the Ukranian nationalist (Konovalets) with an explosive inside a chocolate box, Bandera with cyanide gas

Zinoviev letter and Mcdonald

-чи́стка ‎(cleanse, political purge)
-Doctor’s plot (fake)

-Felix Dzerzhinsky: Cheka

-Political abuse of psychiatry: dissidents of the USSR could be diagnosed with sham mental illnesses like ‘sluggish schizophrenia’ (вялотеку́щая шизофрени́я). According to psychiatrist Snezhnevsky, those suffering from such illness, were incapable of having a relationship with the ‘objective’ social world. The Serbsky centre was where political dissidents were diagnosed.
Today Russians refer ironically to politically-motivated hospitals as Pskikhuska (психу́шка).
According to the Snezhnevsky school, one symptom of ‘sluggish schizophrenia’ is that of having ‘reformist delusional ideas’ [1]


KGB: active measures

Basmachi movement (the Pasha Enver of Turkey calls for pan-Turkic nation in Central Asia ‘Turkestan’). Some fighters of the Basmachi movement called for a jihad. The muslims of Central Asia rebelled against forced conscription.  The Basmachi movement was crushed by the Red Army in the early 1920s.
In the 1940s Japanese and German intelligence tried to re-launch a Muslim insurgency in Central Asia to establish a Bukhara emirate (modern Uzbekistan).

STALIN: The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.

 1948 Checkoslovak coup d’etat


‘Moscow storm’ plan discovered by Zhilin about staging false flags (an idea of the Yeltsin team to avoid the 2000 elections)

Russia compared to a болото (swamp) because every project fails-skepticism

internet sovereignty, food autonomy, energy independence, no debt


constitution inspired by French
Gaidar called ‘the boy in pink pants’ (мальчики в розовых штанах)

In 1995 Oleg Lobov was reported as saying that Russia needed ‘a short victorious war’ so that Yeltsin’s popularity for the next elections would increase.

The Seven Bankers (семибанкирщина)

Skuratov Kompromat
potemkin villages


Sergei Tretyakov, former SVR official, defect to the USA in the 1990s. Few years before dying in 2010, Tretyakov revealed some details about Russia’s political system in books and interviews. For instance:
-He claimed that former KGB official Vladimir Kryuchkov (who participated in the 1991 botched coup against Gorbachev) had managed to move $50bn of the dismantled Soviet Communist Party to an unknown location. Author Karen Dawisha also claims that many KGB officials, amid the break-up of the USSR, managed to exploit their power positions to seize billion of funds from the Communist Party.
-He claimed that, to prevent the USA from deploying missiles in the USA during the Cold War, the KGB funded public demonstrations in Europe
-He claimed that Putin’s bodyguard Viktor Zolotov (and now head of the National Guard) had a kill list of potential enemies of Putin.

-Rise of Spin Doctors or ‘political technologists’ (политтехнологи) in electoral campaigns
-In 1996 PR agency ‘Niccolo M’ helped Yeltsin to be re-elected. Also US strategist George Gorton helped Yeltsin to defeat the communist Zyuganov. Gorton team convinced Yeltsin that his campaign should be based on anti-communism rather than on economic promises. Many ads involved the claim that Yeltsin would maintain stability, while the communists would essentially bring social chaos and a repetition of some of the worst horrors of Soviet history.
The team also encouraged Yeltsin participation in rock festivals and other youthful events to attract the votes of young Russians. Yeltsin’s aides also supported logistically the candidacy of Lebed so that Lebed would take many votes that would otherwise end up in Zyuganov’s favour.
Yeltsin received significant funds and positive media coverage from the most prominent oligarchs. In addition the IMF granted a loan to Russia before the elections, allowing Yeltsin’s government to avoid bankruptcy.

A couple of days before becoming president, Putin announced at a speech addressing his former FSB colleagues: “A group of FSB operatives, dispatched under cover to work in the government of the Russian Federation, is successfully fulfilling its task.” Commentators are still debating whether in that occasion Putin was actually half-joking or making a frank admission.

Magnitsky-Browder case


Lilia Shevtsova in ‘Putin’s Russia’ claims that Russia between 2000 and 2004 had a pro-Western foreign policy.

Sobchak on Putin “he will govern both as Teddy Roosevelt and as F.D.R.”

economic growth, high oil prices


(Ozero…. Shamalov – Rossiya Bank)

2012 elections: in some places turnout was 107%…

Unity (Putin-Shoigu-Gurov) vs Fatherland (Primakov-Luzhkov) struggle in 1999 elections. In 1999 the Unity party strongly supported the Chechen war and also envisaged a coalition with the pro economic reformist ‘Union of Right-Wing forces’ (at that time guided by the liberal Kiryenko).

From 1975 to 1989 KGB official. Trained in counter-intelligence. In Leningrad he monitored foreigners, whereas in Dresden he served as a translator (some claim he also spied to get NATO secrets and Western technology, and he also recruited potential informants [2]).

Dorenko телекиллер

Moscow apartment bombings (fake sugar explosives in Ryazan?)

in 2006 the FSB spot the British intelligence using a fake rock in Moscow to intercept the communications of Russian officials.

Cherkesov ‘Chekist’ article
Federal Drug Control Service power struggle

clan consultation (Miller oil, Sechin gas, Medvedev law)

Pugachev escape

Seregei Markov on Trump’s victory “maybe we helped a bit with WikiLeaks.”

Rogozin on Obama’s sanctions ‘tanks do not need visas’.

Pavlovksy -Popov-Putin on chinovniki taking commissions.

Yakunin the circle will keep turning

Prokhorov ‘civic platform’ party (some claim it is Surkov’s puppet party). The office of Prokhorov’s media group (RBC) was raided by Russian authorities (including the FSB) for taxing purposes (although some claim that the raid was due to RBC publishing the Panama papers leaks). Top editors at RBC were sacked.
RBC had also conducted an investigation on the alleged Putin’s palace (дворец Путина)
In 2012 Russia created an internet blacklist. The Federal Service for supervision of communications is in charge of monitoring the Russian cyberspace. According to the law, the Federal Service can blacklist websites that break the rules of the bill “”On Protecting Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development”. For instance the Russian wikipedia and Lurkmore were blacklisted and rendered momentarily unavailable because of drug-related content- Lurkmore had articles on Marijuana, whereas the Russian wikipedia was accused of having a page instructing how to prepare hashish.
However critics claim that the Federal Service abuses the law to blacklist websites that are critical of the Russian government (for instance also the web-sites of Kasparov, Navalny and of the dissident oligarch Nevzlin were momentarily banned).

In 2016 Linkedin was blocked because Linkedin did not store data on Russian servers.
In 2014 Novaya Gazeta received a letter of warning (to remove the article) from the Russia’s media watchdog because an article by Yulia Latynina contained ‘extremism’. Latynina’s article criticised Russian conservatives that claimed Russia had a distinctive culture and added that Russian culture only became great when it integrated itself with European culture. However the part that received the actual ‘extremist’ accusation was when Latynina compared Russian conservatives to Hitler. More specifically, according to Latynina, the idea that the distinctive Russia culture has to fight against the European ‘sollessness’ is a similar argument to that of Hitler in the Mein Kampf, where Hitler compared Nordic culture against the current European culture.
Another bit accused of ‘extremism’ was when Latynina claimed that only three nations (Jews, Chinese, Indians) can claim to have a thousand-years long homogenous culture whereas other cultures (includng the Russian one) are all mixed.

Kasyanov: Misha 2% (Миша 2 процента)

Prosecutor politicised

22nd February meeting with oil companies to discuss what is good or bad for electors

Crimea-Aksyonov goblin

According to Kommersant, Putin told George W. Bush in a 2008 meeting “You don’t understand, George, that Ukraine is not even a state.”. In 2009, Russian news, talked about Putin mentioning Denikin’s opinions on ‘Big Russia’ and ‘Little Russia’ (Ukraine)

Anonymous Klischko emails.

In the 2015 Q&A Putin agreed with Alexander III’s quote that “Russia has just two allies, its army and its navy”.  Alexander III was known for the ‘Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationality’ doctrine.

Ulyukayev bribe Rosneft-Bashneft

yevtsushenkov (close to Medvedev) raid bashneft

Borodin escape (Bank of Moscow)

Ручное управление (manual control)

During the 2012 anti-Putin protests, the content of the phone calls of Nemtsov and of a conversation between Ryzkhov and Gudkov were leaked (a technique the Russians may have used when leaking the phone calls of European officials during the Ukrainian crisis). The conversation between Gudkov and Ryzkhov was about how to undermine Putin and how to create a left-wing European type of party. Gudkov’s company was raided after his support for the 2012 protests.

Cherkesov clashed with Patrushev and Sechin; Sechin with Medvedev over Yukos remaining assets; Sechin with Yakunin (oil transported by rail or pipeline?).
Olga Kryshtanovskaya claims that, after the 2012 elections, 47% (a twofold increase compared to Medvedev’s presidency)  of Russia’s senior bureaucrats originate from security services or military structures.
President Putin, Patrushev, Cherkesov, Sergei Ivanov and Viktor Ivanov all entered the KGB in the second half of 1970s when Andropov was at the head of the agency. President Putin himself respects Andropov’s historical figure.

oprichina- oprichiniki

According to Yevgeny Minchenko the Russian power structure is made of different clans (‘siloviki’, political, technological, entrepreneurial) competing for their own economics interests. President Putin acts as the ‘referee’ (for instance in 2011 a change in Federal Law on Natural Monopolies allowed Russian Railway to be involved in the export flows, rather than having just pipelines) between the competing clans. Some of these clans have formal roles (like official political status), whereas others act informally.
Medvedev clan (Shuvalov, Surkov, Chaika) + links with business interests
Igor Sechin clan
Sergei Ivanov clan
Timchenko clan
Chemezov clan in security (launched the project “рабочие Уралвагонзавода за Путина”)
Volodin-Sobyanin clan (Moscow) [Volodin is influential in political decision-making, but has no economic base]
Putin consults ‘liberals’ that are part of ‘системной оппозиции’ (systemic opposition) like Chubais, Kudrin, Nabiullina, Voloshin
Yuri Kovalchuk (Ioffe president, referred to as Putin’s banker)

Zolotov close.

Attack on Robsalt

Rogozin Izborsky club
Stolypin club (Glazyev)

Kerimov trying to help Medvedev into turning Moscow into a financial centre

Andrei Belyaninov piles of cash

Bolotnaya square protests: Kudrin attended. Some members of Medvedev administration gave support according to Mikhail Zygar (according to Zygar, Putin was given the transcript of their conversations). RIA Novosti provided live coverage of the protests: in 2013 the news agency was liquidated and replaced by Rossiya Sevodnya (now led by loyalist Kiselyov). According to Zygar, Volodin was used by Putin to stage anti-protests movements.

MEDIA: Konstantin Ernst (channel one), Kiseliev, Solovyov, Mamontov


-The conversations between Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak were wiretapped by American intelligence agencies. Somehow some of the content of such conversations were leaked to the major media outlets in the USA.

In 2015 a court representing a town in Southern Russia ordered that the Russian Wikipedia page on ‘Charas’ (an Indian type of hashish) should be banned. However, since Wikipedia uses HTTPS, ISPs would have to ban the whole web-site rather than specific pages. Indeed, after the court order, Wikipedia was briefly unavailable in Russia. According to journalist Andrei Soldatov, this story shows the Roskomnadzor war on HTTPS.
A web-site not using HTTPS would have the communications between the browser and the pages unencrypted, while the connection could be monitored by the ISP. With HTTPS Roskomnadzor would not know who is looking at a specific page.


-Andrey Piontkovsky

-2015 Russia’s military intervention in Syria. Troops were given an handbook with basic Arab phrases to greet the local population. The handbook also suggests to mention the word ‘Mukhabarat’ in case the local population behaves rebelliously. The fiercest section of the Syrian Mukhabarat is known as the ‘Shabiha’ (‘ghost’ in Arabic), a paramilitary formation made entirely of Alawaites (some of them are believed to be ‘mafia-like’ individuals having criminal syndicates in major cities). [bbc article]
Russia has deployed many caucasians (like Chechens): they are experienced in guerilla-urban warfare and they are Islamic like the local population in Syria.
Russia is also using a private military contractor ‘Wagner’, formerly knows as ‘Slavonic Corps’.  ‘Wagner’ is headed by Mr. Utkin, a former GRU official.
A suspected PR move was made in 2017 when in front of cameras a mufti converted a Russian soldier into Islam. The soldier recited the Shahadah.


[1] ‘False Consciousness’ by  Guenter Lewy, p.23 (Transaction Books, 1982)

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