Vladimir Putin is running Vladimir Lenin’s 1919 “playbook” with 2024 weapons – especially advanced communications technology.
They share these “plays”:
A movement born of socio-political turmoil.
A cult leader.
Assault on democracy in favor of autocracy.
Violation of international law.
A torrent of lies (“disinformation” in the current vernacular).
Evidence: This becomes apparent with two brief synopses on Russia today and on the 1919 Soviet “Comintern” (International Communism).
First, excerpts from a new current analysis by Washington Post columnist Catherine Belton:
“Russia is working to subvert French support for Ukraine, documents show”
“… We have to change all the governments … All the governments in Western Europe will be changed,” Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, a former member of the European Parliament for Le Pen’s party, said in an interview. “We have to control this. Take the leadership of this…
For Schaffhauser, such ambitions are part of a decades-long effort to forge an alliance between Russia and Europe, the prospects of which, however distant, were shattered by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. But now, as Kyiv’s counteroffensive — and Western funding for it falters … and rise of far- right, Schaffhauer and his Russian associates see fresh opportunities…
Russia has been increasing its efforts to undermine French support for Kyiv — a hidden propaganda front in Western Europe that is part of the war against Ukraine, according to Kremlin documents and interviews with European security officials and far-right political figures…
Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, then running to be mayor of Strasbourg, with Le Pen in March 2014 and Kremlin connections with a host of far-right parties across Europe, including in France — are worrying some European officials ahead of European Parliament elections in June. Josep Borrell, the E.U.’s foreign policy chief, warned at a conference this month that those elections could be “as dangerous as the American ones,” driven by “fear” in response to growing inequality and security threats.
‘Europe is in danger’, he said…
Moscow’s goal is to undermine support for Ukraine and weaken NATO resolve … The effort parallels similar interference in Germany, where the Kremlin has attempted to marry the far right and the far left in an antiwar alliance …
In 2023 … [strategists were ordered] to increase ‘the fear of direct confrontation with Russia and the start of World War III with Europe’s participation, and to boost the number of those who want ‘dialogue with Russia on the construction of a common European security architecture’…
Rhetoric from Russia allies like Schaffhauser — who maintains connections across the country’s far right — about the cost of the Ukraine war is increasingly being combined with the idea that it is an American adventure, and that France needs to assert itself as a great power and restore relations with Russia…
For part of the French establishment, the vision of France leading a grand Europe together with Moscow is ‘a dream which will never go away,’ said Sylvie Kauffmann, editorial director at Le Monde and author of the recent book ‘Les Aveuglés,’ or ‘The Blinded Ones,’ about how France and Germany misread Putin in seeking to build close ties with him…
Concerns are also growing that the Kremlin could seek to exacerbate mounting tensions over the Israel-Gaza conflict, a senior European security official said, adding that Russia was willing to exploit a wide array of political issues…
In November, French officials said Moscow’s fingerprints were found on an attempt to fan tensions between France’s Jewish and Muslim communities.
French authorities called the effort ‘a new operation of Russian digital interference against France and part of ‘an opportunistic and irresponsible strategy aimed at exploiting international crises to sow confusion and create tensions in France and Europe.”
And this summary of Lenin’s “playbook”:
The Commintern, 1919
“The Communist International (Comintern), also known as the Third International, was an international organization founded in 1919 that advocated world communism, and which was led and controlled by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The Comintern resolved at its Second Congress in 1920 to ‘struggle by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie and the creation of an international Soviet republic as a transition stage to the complete abolition of the state’. The Comintern was preceded by the dissolution of the Second International in 1916.
The victory of the Russian Communist Party in the Bolshevik Revolution of November 1917 was felt throughout the world and an alternative path to power to parliamentary politics was demonstrated. With much of Europe on the verge of economic and political collapse in the aftermath of the carnage of World War I, revolutionary sentiments were widespread. The Russian Bolsheviks headed by Lenin believed that unless socialist revolution swept Europe, they would be crushed by the military might of world capitalism just as the Paris Commune had been crushed by force of arms in 1871. The Bolsheviks believed that this required a new international to foment revolution in Europe and around the world.
The Comintern was involved in the revolutions across Europe in this period starting with the Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919.
The OMS was the Comintern’s department for the coordination of subversive and conspiratorial activities. Some of its functions overlapped with those of the main Soviet intelligence agencies, the OGPU and the GRU, whose agents sometimes were assigned to the Comintern. But the OMS maintained its own set of operations and had its own representative on the central committees of each Communist party abroad.
In 2012, historian David McKnight stated: ‘The most intense practical application of the conspiratorial work of the Comintern was carried out by its international liaison service, the OMS. This body undertook clandestine courier activities and work which supported underground political activities. These included the transport of money and letters, the manufacture of passports and other false documents and technical support to underground parties such as managing ‘safe houses’ and establishing businesses overseas.’”
Clearly – tragically – this is not football, or any other game.
It is history – ugly history – being revisited.
Until it is stopped.