Matt Scharfstein Profile picture
Mar 16, 2018 33 tweets 27 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
"Every dictator, when the economy finally betrays them, must create the image of a besieged fortress." - @Kasparov63 on why dictators create national enemies.

In America, consider how Trump uses this strategy. For Trump, the alleged #FakeNews media is the national enemy.

teaches #PutinCon about the '99 Russian apartment bombings, an episode where Putin's gov't bombed his own people & framed the Chechens.

It was Russia's reichstag event & Russia's autocratic history since can only be viewed with this context.…
Arkady Babchenko tells #Putincon about his fears prior to leaving Russia.

"I would worry about entering certain buildings - that I'd be beaten. Every noise, like the creaking of an elevator, made be worry they were coming to get me. I thought I'd be arrested for years."
"I will rot him in a cell full of prisoners with TB." - @PutinRF_Eng talking about the owner of a Russian TV station that aired content about him that he did not like.

Relayed by Russian TV host Yivgeny Kiselev at #PutinCon.

There is no press freedom in Russia.
.@andersaslund tells #Putincon about how Putin uses economic policy & corruption to ensure continued rule.

#PutinCon speakers by the numbers.
"The way we do democracy is under threat from 6 or 7 different attack vectors...and Russia seeks to sow chaos." - @IlvesToomas

These new attack vectors include:

🔹️Spreading disinformation
🔹️Dark ads
🔹️Hacking voter rolls

.@jkirchick: "Russia cheats (in sports, elections, int'l agreements, etc.) in an effort to accomplish in the West what they accomplished in Eastern Europe via violence...the erosion of liberal democracy...Putin is waging a war on democracy & human rights worldwide."

.@MollyMcKew: "#Hybridwar makes sense for Russia. It's an equalizer...It's unclear how much Russia will use kinetic war via #hybridwar. But, Russia will fight the war they think they can win."

.@lukeharding1968: "The poisoning of #Skripal was a terrorist attack by Russia on a civilian population...Putin's primary purpose for the attack was likely to warn people inside Russia's special services against cooperating in any way with #Mueller."

#PutinCon invites attendees to trace accurate descriptors of Putin on an interactive Putin 2018 board.

I chose "murderer."
Neuroscientist James Fallon explains the link between dictators & psychopathic/narcissistic traits.

"Dictators have certain traits. You can score Putin (or Trump) yourself."

Valentyn Nalyvaichenko explains Russian terrorism & criminality in Ukraine, including the downing of #MH17 by on-duty Russian military with a Buk missile system illegally brought into Ukraine.

Thornike Gordadze: "[The Georgian War] was a political success & a successful trial balloon...No price was paid by Russia for its invasion...Russia learned a valuable lesson that they could make aggressive international moves with only minimal international pushback."

Anna Borshschevskaya: "Putin is convinced the West is working tirelessly to undermine Russia, b/c that's what he would do."

In #Syria, "Putin wanted to make the West choose between ISIS & Assad. Except Russia's airstrikes largely ignored ISIS & sometimes helped them."

In Syria: "In the absence of strong US leadership and moral clarity, Putin has much to celebrate."

.@mikercarpenter: "Russia is at war with the West...they don't respect normative rules of int'l conduct."

Putin's goals:

🔹️Weaken western democracies

🔹️Create & widen fissures in organizations like #NATO

🔹️Delegitamize the rules-based international order

.@mikercarpenter: "Other countries are watching the lack of pushback from the US and concluding they too can push limits. Do we honestly think that we can stop this behavior without imposing significant costs?"
.@mikercarpenter on US campaign finance: "There was Russian money floating around in the 2016 election & likely the next one too."

On imposing costs: "The Russian sanctions we've imposed are a drop in the bucket. We must impose higher costs or it won't deter Putin."

.@PreetBharara: "Nobody is above the law." #RuleOfLaw


🔹️President of Guatemala for $ laundering & bribery

🔹️Reza Zarrab, a businessman connected to organized crime & close to Turkey's Erdogan

🔹️Iranian national who plotted to kill Saudi ambassador

#PutinCon preet bharara discusses the rule of law with #PutinCon
.@reitschuster compares California congressman @DanaRohrabacher to EU politicians who have potentially been corrupted by Putin.

.@nekulachenkov describes how Russian business aids Putin's authoritarian control.

Russian business accomplices, including Oleg Deripaska & other oligarchs, help Putin with:

🔹️Domestic needs

🔹️External policy needs

.@nekulachenkov: Some of the most prominent Russian oligarchs that provide cover for Putin's graft & #kleptocracy include:

🔹️Oleg Deripaska

🔹️Alisher Usmanov

🔹️Igor Sechin

🔹️Anatoly Chubais

Olga Litvinenko is a former 🇷🇺 politician & daughter of a Putin ally.

At the beginning of Putin's rise to power, "he was disliked in St. Petersburg & his graft was well-known."

Also, "Russian electoral fraud was very common, including the use of deceased persons."

"My dad became director of the St. Petersburg Natural Resources Department. There was a system of kickbacks and all of it was funneled through Igor Sechin." - Olga Litvinenko

.@Billbrowder sits down w/@PreetBharara to discuss the #MagnitskyAct.

Browder was once the largest foreign investor in Russia. Along w/Sergei Magnitsky, he exposed Putin's corruption, which led to Magnitsky's murder in Russian prison.

#PutinCon… bill browder and preet discuss magnitsky.
.@navalny recorded a message to #PutinCon attendees to let us know that Russian kleptocrats and their enablers' time will soon be up.

.@Kasparov63, @vkaramurza, Miriam Lanskoy & David J. Kramer discuss the end of Putin's regime.

@vkaramurza: We don't know when the Putin regime will end, but we know that it will. Nothing lasts forever... And it's likely to be sudden, just like in 1991."

Russians share the same struggle we do. We are all fighting against #autocracy, #kleptocracy, erosion of norms, loss of personal liberties & democratic representation.

David Kramer: "We never know what might be the tipping point...Russia has no chance to become democratic w/Putin in power. But Russia has a chance if Putin leaves...we shouldn't be afraid of the unknown. It'd be an enormous mistake to write off liberal activists."

David Kramer: "We have to get our own house in order, but there is no pause button. We must stick with our principles & not give up, but also stand with those in Russia fighting for democracy."

David Kramer: "The least we can do is to not be complicit w/Putin's regime...We need to put Putin on his heels. We need Putin to be wondering what we are going to & not the other way around."

Me: Won't happen w/Trump in office. Trump's interests = Putin's interests.


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