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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Complaints about “harassment of American diplomats in Moscow look paranoid

Accredited in Russia, American diplomats flood the state Department with complaints of mass persecution. Details horrific bullying of children, killing domestic animals, penetration in private homes. The suspects stated employees of the Russian special services. Meanwhile, in all this hysteria there are some very suspicious details.

On held recently in Washington the meeting of US ambassadors accredited in Europe and Russia (this is the official wording; Russia withdrawn from Europe, despite the geography textbooks), one of the key topics suddenly become “harassment of American diplomats by the Russian special services.” Diplomats complained to Secretary of state John Kerry to, as they put it, harrasment by not named and not caught red-handed “security officers”. Employees of the Russian special services, say diplomats harass them and their families on the street are no invitations to social events held by the diplomats, and even bribe journalists to write about the employees of American diplomatic missions articles of a negative nature.

“One of the former attaché of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow reported that ten years ago security officers broke into his house and killed his dog”

Moreover, it was found that for nearly two years, American diplomats in Europe and Russia fill up the Department of State secret notes which list cases of such “harassment, including Frank. For example, Embassy officials in Moscow claim that an unknown (but memoranda are directly claimed that the Russian secret service) to illegally enter their home (usually somehow in the late evening) and rearrange the furniture. Or light in all the rooms light, turn on full volume the TV, and then just leave. One of the Embassy staff reported that someone had pooped on the carpet in his living room.

According to these reports, in Moscow such cases are massive and disrupted the work of the diplomatic missions of the sole superpower. The cars of diplomats regularly punctured tires, and the traffic police bugged their chicanery on the roads. For its part of these complaints was confirmed by retired diplomats had left Russia. So, one of the former attache of the Embassy said that ten years ago security officers broke into his house and killed his dog.

One of the main protagonists of this strange story – a former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul – the man is extremely popular in Runet because of its peculiar ideas about Russia and Russians. McFaul argues that he was subjected to an organized persecution throughout his stay in Moscow, his children accompanied on the way to school, and he became the object of mockery on the part of the youth politicized groups. “It was something like the desire to exert pressure on the government officials who tried to do their work, accounting reports and reports. And when I was there, it clearly increased. After the invasion of the Ukraine has become worse, much worse. And there, in the Embassy, we felt like we were under siege,” said McFaul, the Washington Post.

He was supported by former US Ambassador in the Czech Republic (2011-2014) Norman Eisen. “After the return of Putin Russia is in Europe more and more aggressive “gray war.” Now this action in response to imposed over Ukraine, Western sanctions. Widely publicized cases of persecution is another front, the grey war.” They pursue us diplomats literally at the place of residence”, – said the diplomat.

All this is confirmed by state Department spokesman John Kirby. According to him, harassment of American diplomats intensified and became more frequent after 2014, after the events in Ukraine and the introduction of the United States of personal sanctions against a number of Russian nationals close to President Putin. “Therefore we have repeatedly expressed our concern at the harassment of our diplomatic and consular officials from the Russians, including at the highest level,” he added.

The state Department reacted to these reports extremely seriously. A year and a half, like all American diplomats going to work in Europe and Russia, held a special training on “how to behave in the conditions of persecution by the Russian intelligence services”. And the head of the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia Victoria Nuland personally monitors all these events and organizes interagency meetings to develop responses.

However, in Washington many consider these efforts as insufficient. According to the same Kirby, John Kerry in March raised this issue during the conversation with Vladimir Putin, Russian President (again, according to Kirby) promised something to help sufferers. On the other hand, Senator from Ohio, Republican Mike Turner, concurrently Chairman of the NATO parliamentary Assembly, believes that any diplomatic actions of the USA against Russia basically useless. “The administration (of Barack Obama) continues its rhetoric about adhering to the notion that Russia can be our partner. They clearly don’t want to be our partner, they identified us as their enemy, and we must be ready for a relationship of this kind,” said the Senator.

Another supporter of stringent response – Evelyn Farkas, the former Deputy assistant Secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, and now – a political analyst and consultant for several influential foundations and centers close to military circles. At the time, she almost single-handedly tried to push the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine, specifically anti-tank systems “javelin”, and when not out, resigned. Recently Farkas said that the “aspirations of modern Russia is opposed to the interests of U.S. national security”, but what else could be expected from the daughter of a Hungarian refugee of the 1956 sample.

Now is Evelyn Farkas brings to the situation with the “harassment of American diplomats” to dangerous nonsense. She, in particular, argues that “the Russian government is accused of murdering a prominent diplomats and dissidents in European countries, and this increases the fears for those who aimed against actions of Russia”. “It is possible to assume cases when the Russian government chooses people as objects for this kind of intimidation – the intimidation, harassment close to something worse,” says Farkas.

Okay, let’s say, someone’s light in the apartment turned on, the TV spoke with the voice of Olga Buzova, the Ghost moved the chair. But the accusations against Russia to a mysterious “murders of diplomats and dissidents in European countries” were repeated with alarming persistence. This is serious – and it goes beyond paranoia, which is clearly covered the state Department and the CIA lately. For half a century in Europe, there was no “assassination of a prominent diplomat, and if a dissident Litvinenko Farkas understands, it still prove necessary.

“There are no official protests from either the U.S. Ambassador, John Tefft, nor from the corresponding Bureau of the state Department to the Russian foreign Ministry has not received”

Special article – harassment by traffic police. Let’s be honest: cars with diplomatic plates with a code of 004 is a problem for Russian law enforcement agencies. Paranoia diplomats leads to increased accidents and regular violations of the basic rules of the road. For example, they love “off the tail” (real or pomeridiana), driving at high speed on yellow or suddenly starting on the red. To stop a vehicle and issue a fine does not permit the Geneva Convention. This one also did not inflate recent case, the assistant military attache John Franklin Fravel Third was left in the Leningrad region, being drunk “in shreds”. With him were two other employees of the Embassy – a man and a woman, both in the same condition. To blow into the tube and to sign the Protocol Fravel Third refused, citing diplomatic immunity. Secretary of the South African Embassy Tenali Frederick, vypisyvatsja pranks along the Arbat “Rangerover” with red numbers, I had to stop the threat of use of weapons.

Meanwhile, according to the logic of all these “memorial notes” the Russian side would immediately turn to the “corrupt journalists”, to those published articles negative content” on the staff of the American Embassy. As anecdotic look and claim prosecution of children McFaul, “on the way to school.” It is difficult to imagine that his children went to the Embassy school on foot, the blessing it is, to put it mildly, far from the U.S. Ambassador’s residence at Spaso house in Tushino. Them there infamous yellow bus marked “Children” were taken.

The employees of the Russian diplomatic missions in the United States in recent years really are restricted in their work – and the pressure on them is only strengthened, as already reported VZGLYAD. In diplomatic practice, there is the principle of reciprocity, but the Russian side has not yet taken any retaliatory steps to limit the freedom of movement of Russian diplomats in the U.S. and discriminatory actions against staff, for example, the Russian mission at the headquarters of NATO in Brussels. It was documented egregious cases of home invasion of Russian diplomats based in the Netherlands, for example), and the installation of listening devices in Russian buildings or leased premises in new York – has long been common practice.

All these horrors with the penetration of “security officers” in the apartments of diplomats purely to shit on the carpet and rearrange the furniture, it is extremely difficult to imagine. Disorderly conduct counterintelligence is not peculiar, but from the point of view of operational work this is futile. Specially trained people are able to remember the location of any item up to the centimeter – and return it to the place if we needed to rearrange. The point’s that no one noticed and pretend to be a poltergeist absolutely no reason.

If the American side really believes that the way her employees are intimidated and destabilisateur their work, in that there is a degree of naivety, or deliberate whipping up of the atmosphere. It is noteworthy that participate in this campaign the characters are configured in relation to Russia, the most uncompromising in the first place McFaul and Farkas, while the “talking head”, John Kirby just voiced a common installation. However, no formal protests, either from Ambassador John Tefft, nor from the corresponding Bureau of the state Department in the foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation did not arrive. That is from a position of practical diplomacy of the conflict does not exist, because not filed the corresponding note. And links to Kirby for any personal requests of John Kerry in this situation stand out.

But this does not negate the fact that the trend has been extremely unpleasant. Perhaps some influential members of the Embassy simply wind themselves and the chain of “give birth to” his superiors in Washington, but in the end it becomes a bass string for the hardliners behavior against Russia in the Congress and in the analytical community. In the end, the Embassy itself has been taking initiatives to strengthen internal regulations and control over the behavior, movements and contacts of their employees. This is not the direction of the state Department, and internal regulations that are retroactively linked to the common instructions to all diplomatic missions.

Yes, the work is hard, but the wage premium on that and there to compensate for diplomats difficulties of life in “hostile environment”. But the real cases of harassment of American diplomats in Moscow lately somehow not remembered. Sometimes similar, perhaps, desirable, but Zarathustra won’t allow it.

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