Saturday, February 26, 2005

This blogger on O'Reilly Factor talks about the real Putin

Appearing on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor show February 24, this blogger shed light on the real history of Russian President Vladimir Putin, following the Bush-Putin summit in Bratislava.

Putin is no democrat and certainly no reliable partner, despite what US leaders want to believe. I told Bill O'Reilly about Putin's gangster past as the KGB money man in charge of hard-currency transactions in St. Petersburg, his shadowy origins in the sleaziest and most repressive unit of the KGB, and his power-mongering that has shut down nearly all his opposition.

A friend of mine, Galina Starovoitova, a democratic Russian Duma member, was assassinated while investigating organized crime in Putin's hometown. Putin was Russian internal security chief at the time. He announced he would take personal control of the investigation into her 1998 murder. Democrats denounced the security organs for being more interested in defaming the victim and her allies during the probe, and the issue gradually died away.

Five years ago I wrote a profile of Putin for Boston University's Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology and Policy. I stand by my record and my predictions. To read the report, click here.

Here more of my articles about Putin:

"Yeltsin keeps it all in 'The Family," Insight, September 6, 1999. Describes Yeltsin's appointment of Putin as secret police chief.

"Putin resorting to Cold War threats," Insight, March 30, 2004, on Putin's goals for a revived empire and his personal participation in a mock nuclear attack on the United States.

"Russia: Death and resurrection of the KGB," Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization, Summer 2004. Chronicles the resurgence of the Soviet secret police in taking over post-Soviet political institutions in Russia.