'Stop it. Just stop it': Kremlin propagandists spar over Russia's future amid mounting setbacks in Ukraine
It was a wild night on Russian state television as a panel of Kremlin propagandists sparred over the ramifications of President Vladimir Putin's ill-begotten invasion of Ukraine and the world's responses to it.
Reuters reported on Monday evening that "Ukraine said it broke through enemy lines in several places near the Southern city of Kherson as it pressed a new campaign to retake territory while Moscow said Kyiv's counter-offensive had failed as Russia shelled the port city of Mykolaiv."
Russia 1 host Olga Skabeeva initiated the discussion:
We're awaiting the delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency which should arrive any hour now at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. It was announced this would happen today.
Reuters also noted that "a mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the facility, captured by Russian forces in March but still run by Ukrainian staff, was due to arrive in Kyiv on Monday and start work in the coming days."
Next, international relations consultant and political analyst Dmitry Yegorchenkov gave a lecture on what the supposed decline of the West means for Russia:
I share the prevailing skepticism regarding the outcome of the trip of these wonderful people who lined up for a picture with such serious faces. They were given promotional merchandise. This is obviously a PR campaign. They will probably pose for another picture.
The entire system of global oversight organizations, whether part of the U[United] N[ations] or other structures, obviously stopped working a long time ago.
Now, regarding general global trends. Unfortunately, attempts are underway to divvy up the already divided world. It started after the dissolution of the USSR. It has now entered into another active stage. Even though the West thinks that only they can control these processes, the time of their total domination is already over.
China, Iran, and a huge number of other countries have vital interests in the weakening of this predator, who is trying to restart the wave of neocolonialism, without which the West will perish. They want this predator to be weakened, here and now, with Russia's participation first and foremost. They look at us as their hope that this predator will be weakened, at Russia's expense, which is cynical on their part.
Most third-world countries will try to support Russia even if it's only behind the scenes at first, to support Russia in order to weaken their main enemy. They will remember very well who is their enemy. That enemy is not Russia.
State Duma Member Mikhail Delyagin chimed in:
Since Russian officials can't defend Russia's interests in those international organizations to which Russia belongs, these international organizations are acting against us. O[rganization for] S[ecurity and] C[o-operation in] E[urope] representatives not only ignored the shelling; they engaged in espionage for the benefit of Ukraine's Armed Forces. We remember how international sports organizations act, how anti-doping organizations are acting. Considering this tendency, to place hope in the IAEA's objectivity would be like hoping that we will finally start to strike the decision-making centers.
Delyagin's statement triggered an argument.
Stop it. We're still hoping for that, down deep.
For this and for that.
Not for the first thing, but for the centers for sure.
I believe in mermaids, house gnomes, and the IAEA.
Stop it. Just stop it. They'll force us to strike the decision-making centers. We're waiting for that.
How long have we been waiting? Six months?
We'll keep waiting.
Delyagin attempted to resume his on-air disquisition:
Back to IAEA. Their visit will be successful for us if their Polish and Lithuanian representatives don't mine the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
Skabeeva, however, was not still taking him seriously.
"Don't laugh," Delyagin chirped at snickering Skabeeva. "Don't you laugh."
Continuing on, Delyagin called the West stupid and took an unusual swipe at the corruption inside Putin's regime:
As far as the situation in general, a very long, very painful, very frightening period of instability awaits us. We're in the very beginning stages of this instability. We see that Western nations are led by deranged individuals. They're being led by people who are irresponsible due to their intellectual level.
In these conditions of instability, we need to have a strong, reliable home base. We need to limit the mass transfer of funds from a legal economy into a criminal one, which we are not doing. There are no real limitations on cashing out. There are no attempts to nationalize the elites. Cheap credit is also needed and the overall lowering of prices, when the defense industry is working to maximize the profits for Russian government banks, but on the other side, to fund the yachts of the oligarchs, if not [Alexei] Mordashohv's, then [Vladimir] Potanin's. There are questions as to why and for what. Why not nationalize the main industries the way the British did after the [Second World] War. Not to punish someone, but so the money does not go to Potanin's yachts, toward the growth of the Russian Federation.
Time is rapidly running out for us to at least start working on these issues. We can keep comforting ourselves by saying that the junta will fall any day now like we've been doing for the last eight-and-a-half years. Even if we win in Ukraine, or rather when we win in Ukraine, even if we win rather quickly, global instability isn't going anywhere.
But Skabeeva remained unconvinced.
She suggested that Delyagin's argument was pointless because of the potential of a direct clash between the United States and Russia, the planet's two most heavily-armed atomic superpowers:
In the context of everything you said, there are frightening global issues. If the nuclear apocalypse comes about, as [Ukrainian President] Volodymyr Zelenskyy is hinting, then all of your long-term strategy is not needed.
And if it doesn't happen?
Everything indicates that it will.
Footage and translation were provided by the Russian Media Monitor.
Watch below via The Daily Beast's Julia Davis or at this link.
\u201cMeanwhile in Russia: state TV pundits warn that the delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) may covertly place mines at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, but there is so much more happening in this clip, even some criticism of the gov't. Awkward moments.\u201d— Julia Davis (@Julia Davis) 1661817798
This story has been updated.
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