BLOG POST 3/13/22
The following points are from Mark Galeotti’s podcast “In Moscow’s Shadow.”
IN MOSCOW’S SHADOWS (Podcast and blog)
Mark Galeotti (A Short History of Russia, 2021; We Need to Talk about Putin, 2019; Russian Political War: Moving Beyond the Hybrid, 2019; The Vory: Russia’s Super Mafia, 2018).
Hitler or Stalin?
Hitler and Stalin clearly thought they could impose their political views on the fighting of a war. Stalin was convinced he had won before Germany invaded and did so much damage to the Russian forces, they almost didn’t recover. Spies, generals, analysts and even men deserting from the front lines, told Stalin, but he refused to believe them.
After Barbaroso, Stalin learned his lesson. He retained overall command of the armed forces but listened to his generals and allowed them to fight the war.
Hitler, however, seemed never to learn this lesson. He insisted up till the very end in intervening and micro-managing the war.
The question is whether Putin will be a Stalin or a Hitler.
Col. General Beseda
Rumors are that Col. Gen. Beseda, of the FSB, has been put under house arrest. It is unclear whether this includes his deputies and others. The FSB is the primary foreign intelligence arm of the Russian government.
Beseda was one of the primary leaders involved with Ukraine. In 2014, he managed to convince Putin that Yanukovych (then president of Ukraine) was handling the Maidan revolution successfully. Obviously, this proved to be disastrously wrong. But, Beseda managed to avoid being sacked. A smooth manipulator and political game figure, he blamed his faulty analysis on the information he got.
It seems that this time he hasn’t been so successful.
Galeotti maintains that Beseda will be convicted of the charges brought against him because of the people given charge of the investigation. They are all people who have something to gain from Beseda’s ouster.