Virtually all Russian state operations are counterintelligence operations, including strategic messaging/communications. Counterintelligence means ferreting out spies; but in the Muscovite context it denotes neutralizing all opposition. Russian strategic communications in all forms are simply propaganda deployed to best the enemy, real and imagined. Deception and denial are of the Kremlin’s standard modus operandi in this realm. The former falsifies reality and the latter conceals the truth.
Such understanding of counterintelligence grows out of Russia’s historical context. The most important seven ingredients of its past are, first, pre-modern eastern Slavdom’s legacy of collectivism (e.g., the mir with its common ownership of land) unmitigated by its western Slavic kin’s predilection for individualism (e.g.,liberum veto with its vouchsafing minority rights of even one single person); second, the medieval Viking legal arrangements, which introduced a chasm between alien rulers and native subjects similar to that between the Normans and the Anglo-Saxons; third, Byzantine Orthodoxy, which ushered in caesaro-papism, which negates the division of the state and church and sets the former up as the master of the latter, thus eliminating an autonomous sphere of freedom that eventually blossomed in the West; fourth, the Mongol ways, which advanced the tyrant to the position of pre-eminence in the Muscovite state system with all and sundry subordinated to the master of the Kremlin; fifth, the autocracy of the Tsar which seamlessly combined all the previous ingredients that were, sixth, largely absorbed by the totalitarian ideological state of Marxism-Leninism; and, finally, seventh, post-Communism which is a continuation of the dialectical modus operandi of the previous system complete with its re-branded institutions and personnel.
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