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. But those days are gone.
Bullshit, Yakunin's offshore companies are syphoning money off the Russian Railways with his blessing as we speak.
It was NOT Russia who began a Donbass war.
Yes, it was Russia. The war in Eastern Ukraine was started by a Mr. Igor Girkin, a Russian, allegedly ex-military, a war criminal from the Yugoslavia wars, who also participated in several of Russia's armed conflicts (Chechnya, Georgia, etc.), and who entered into Ukraine across a Russian border, on orders from Russia.
He had done the same thing just two months before that, in Crimea. The only difference between his first and second marches was the changed attitude of the international community, which made Putin reconsider and change his plans.
Along with him came a group of Russian soldiers and officers, allegedly 'on leave' and a lot of serious firepower: large guns, tanks, armored vehicles. The Russian regime has tried to deny this, but the evidence that a huge amount of Russian military equipment and military are pouring through the border is overwhelming, the confessions of Girkin notwithstanding.
Girkin's activities in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine were financed with Russian money, partly by a Mr. Malofeev, a Russian oligarch with ties to the regime, who got his initial capital from state banks.
Mr. Girkin himself addressed your theory about this non-existing local Russian movement long ago. Here are the relevant quotes from his interview in the Zavtra newspaper:
Q: What about the phases of war: A: At first, nobody [neither Ukraine's armed forces nor the separatists] wanted to fight. The first weeks went with the two sides talking to each other, trying to get the other side to change views. In Slovyansk, the separatists and the army were very careful using arms... The Ukrainian army wasn't eager to fight at all.
Q: Your role wasn't only military, you were the source of ideas for establishing a government, right? A: At the time, I understood well that the [regions of] Donetsk and Lohansk can't fight on their own. We went in with the understanding that the Crimea situation will be repeated, and the Russian army will enter [openly]... My task there was not to take the power, my task was to guard the [separatist] republic
Still, it was me who squeezed the trigger of war. If our team hasn't crossed the border [to go into Ukraine], it would have ended like it did in Kharkiv or Odessa, a few people shot, burned or imprisoned. It would have stopped there. The pendulum of war, which is still going was released by us.
in these cases it is less about due process and rule of law and more about a shift in power between rival factions
Not quite, there is a nuance, at least on some levels.
In China, corruption scandals are a tool of power redistribution, because China still has a collective system of government and public opinion matters, albeit not quite like it does in the West. Hence, a systematic corruption fighter is a nuisance, but not an enemy of the state by definition, at least on the face of it.
In Russia, things have gone the other way, towards a very authoritarian regime where the system is based on shameless corruption, by design. Speaking against corruption there is speaking against the system and hence a crime against the 'stability', the Motherland and the 'Russian world', all synthesized in the image of the all-powerful, America-crushing superhero Putin, who provides 'order' and helps the country to 'rise from its knees', where it was put by its eternal enemies -- the evil jews and the Americans -- in the early 90s.
Therefore the institutions of the state (and sources of corruption), the state media and the 'public' opinion are always by definition against the corruption fighter. The latter isn't the occasionally useful nuisance, but an outright enemy that has to be destroyed. Of course, as an enemy, he/she's also in league with the 'foreign enemies' and is on their payroll and so a traitor.
Hence the GP's comment about not wanting a 'revolution' -- the fight against the state of corruption is presented (and apparently perceived by many) as a threat to the government and the order, and this line of thinking has gained a significant traction in Russia, at least on the surface.
We'll see how it will survive the economic hardships that Russia unleashed on itself starting the war in Ukraine.
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Why we ever moved from pocket watches to wrist watches is a mystery to me.
Apparently, they were needed by pilots in the early era of flight. They needed to keep track of time, and at the same time they had to control the aircraft, which, at the time, was a hard physical work. So, wrist watches became a necessity, then cool, then a fashion item.
My intro to aerodynamics book told a story similar to this one: http://monochrome-watches.com/...