Dear people still riding that #TrumpTrain while wearing your #MAGA hats: You are being played. Trump is never going to have any kind of "understanding" with Putin. Putin likes it when people capitulate to him, but he'll never *respect" that. In Putin's eyes, Trump is a traitor.
Look, I don't like stupid caricatures of Russians, and I would very much like it if we had better relations with Russia - IF the Kremlin wasn't busy screwing us, attacking Ukraine, giving carte blanche to Assad, and otherwise acting like a bunch of dicks.
A whole lot of you are in my mentions asking me questions in all caps like, "BUT WHY DON'T YOU WANT TRUMP TO MAKE NICE WITH PUTIN, NAT-NAT? WHAT ARE YOU, SOME WARMONGER?" Precisely because I am *not* a warmonger, I want to give Putin what he needs: Clear red lines.
When Putin doesn't have clear red lines, bad things happen. He's not interested in being friends and is *very* good at punching above his weight. And you know what else? Putin is not interested in being friends with his own citizens either. They're just another resource to him.
Plenty of people in Russia certainly benefit from Putin's rule. But Putin, above all else, is king of a fragile (potentially dangerously fragile) kleptocracy. He has no ideology. He simply does what's convenient for him and his inner circle. He's not some conservative savior.
Trump likes Putin in part because he wants to be able to do to you what Putin does to his own people. He also just likes anyone who boosts his ego. Putin can be a very good flatterer. He may have been a desk jockey at the KGB, but he's still got them spy skillz.
So you spin the summit however you like. Just remember: Russia is the world's most unequal major economy. There are reasons for that. Such as: Putin really needed to make some people rich to ensure loyalty. Trump has show every indication that he wants us on a similar path.

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More from @NataliaAntonova

Oct 9, 2018
Today in Uncomfortable Topics: Let's talk about cheating and abuse, because people often expect abuse survivors to act like impossibly saintly creatures from Victorian novels.

We're just people, however, and cheating to cope (or, more accurately, "cope") with abuse is a thing.
Abuse is about control, and cheating can seem like a sensible solution when you're scrambling to get a semblance of control back. There is also the fact that abusers convince you you're "bad." My ex interrogated me about other men on a regular basis. Cheating began to make sense.
Besides the interrogations, using other women in order to control me was a habit of my ex, and, the more I talk to other people who had survived abusive situations, the more I see how common this behavior is. I was always being compared to other women in his life & found wanting.
Read 14 tweets
Sep 7, 2018
Me, an expert: "We need a practical approach to preventing/reducing armed conflict. If you're screaming that we should dismantle the U.S. military & hope for the best - you're wrong. Putin, for example..."

Me: "That doesn't make any damn sense. Unless, of course, your 'anti-imperialism' is highly selective. Or if you fundamentally believe that people with the 'wrong' nationalities/ideologies deserve to die in large numbers."


Me: ...


Me: ...

Read 4 tweets
Sep 7, 2018
Social media, pop culture & the news cycle condition us to believe that abuse is an extraordinary phenomenon, as opposed to something depressingly mundane. And that abusers are scowling monsters as opposed to people. "But he seems normal" is what many people say about my abuser.
Normality is woven into the very fabric of the experience. He makes coffee for you in the morning. You check the news. Discuss the latest crap that Putin has pulled. Make plans for dinner. Somewhere along the way, something cracks, and you're being screamed at, or worse.
It doesn't happen every day. Some episodes are worse than others. Sometimes, he apologizes profusely. Most of the time, he'll badger you until you admit that it's "your fault" too. For example, I always had "the wrong kind of face." Especially in public.
Read 8 tweets
Aug 28, 2018
Remember those Russians murdered in CAR? One of them was my friend Sasha Rastorguev. Just saw excerpts from their conversations with their editor. Based on those - there is a good chance that planning was beyond atrocious. Threat to their lives seems to be almost... irrelevant.
Sasha knew that CAR was going to be dangerous. He alerted his editor to this fact. Sasha also badly needed work - his wife and friends confirmed that (he and I haven't hung out in years). I would really fucking like it if the people who sent him there would explain themselves.
"Shit happens" is not an explanation. Yes, shit does happen. I know it as someone who'd send people out to cover protests in Moscow while aware of risks. Moscow is exponentially safer and yet we had rules. You have to *care* about the people you're sending out on assignment.
Read 4 tweets
Aug 26, 2018
Some shocking news for you all: We train people in the armed forces to be killers. And by “we” I mean the human race - considering the constant hysteria about the U.S. armed forces on my feed, it’s almost like some of you think other countries’ militaries... don’t exist?
Humanity has many heroes. A bunch of those heroes are killers. “Thank you for killing those people over there, for whatever simple or complicated political/economic/historic reasons, and not me” = you’re a hero.
Do I think its awesome that we need militaries to protect ourselves against each other or to pursue whatever ridiculous or not-so-ridiculous political interests? I think this points to the grim reality of civilization. I wish we could do better. Not as a country. As a species.
Read 5 tweets
Aug 23, 2018
This is turning into quite the day! Just found out I may be the victim of identity theft. Of all the identities to steal... Seeing as identity theft is ubiquitous, when is the tyranny of our pointless credit bureaus going to end?
I also really, really love how credit bureaus won’t deign to speak to you on the phone when you go to report potential fraud. “Here’s our pointless automated system... Now mail us a bunch of stuff. We’ll get back to you... eventually.” lol it’s literally designed to *aid* fraud.
“We’ll get back to you, uh, sometime, and if someone tries to buy a yacht in your name in the meantime, well, uh, ask them if you can take it for a spin?”- our credit bureaus on fraud prevention
Read 4 tweets

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