Putin: The Last Man Standing
Interview of Joaquin Flores, CSS, by Maurice Herman (Morris108)
(video below – 15 minutes)
In this interview, Mr. Flores explains why Vladimir Putin was the most appropriate individual to perform the functions required by the Russian state, through the KGB. He delves into psychological profiling, the pertinent biographical background on Putin which helps to substantiate this, and several of the tasks he was assigned. The following is an adapted transcript.
Putin is probably one of the most key element players in the last 30-40 years of history.
Who he is, his background, where he comes from, why he’s in the position that he’s in, why he was chosen for that position, what his aims are … you know a lot of people were technically qualified to do what Putin is doing, but they’re not psychologically qualified.
And there’s a lot of interesting things about Putin’s history which are qualifiable, and they are actually looked at by his recruiters and the position he’s in today go back to his activities as a small child.
What happened with with Putin is that he was a non-conformist early on, and he was sort of cynical about things like education and institutions. I think we live in … my personal belief, is that we live in times that for good people who are intelligent it’s very difficult because they see a world that’s full of lies and corruption and they can see that people who are opportunistic get ahead. And so they withdraw from activities like education, public life, school and these kinds of pursuits.
What happened with Putin is that he, like many good people who are also strong and intelligent, is that he saw that there was a lot of hypocrisy in the system and that other school children who were willing to just placate the teacher’s demands or to sit in front of the classroom got ahead, and so it wasn’t until he was thirteen years old almost that he joined the Young Pioneers. And he did this as a conscious decision.
In part he was inspired by his father who was also an intelligence officer (NKVD) and was active in WWII. In fact his grandfather was a cook, a chef, who prepared meals for Lenin and also for Lenin’s wife Nadija Krupspaya and also prepared some meals for Stalin. So he comes from a line of trusted people. And when you prepare food for people you are also like an intelligence asset, because you can’t be suspected as someone who could be involved in a poisoning. His father a very crucial intelligence officer in the WWII period.
Putin as a child was always into Soviet cinema that focused on NKVD (as Cheka) agents, there was a whole genre of films that were like western films, they were on trains and involved horses and whatnot, except it was Soviet intelligence officers against these corrupt bandits. So he made a conscious decision as basically a teenager to join the Young Pioneers and pursue this field, and he studied … he didn’t go through the military which is unusual for intelligence officers, and that may have been his greatest asset, and instead he went an alternate route where he studied International Relations and got a degree in Law from Moscow State University. Then he went to the Red Banner Institute of Intelligence and International Relations, it’s also called the Yuri Andropov Institute. Now its just called the Moscow School of International Relations. This is a known institute for those of us in the field of International Relations. It’s a highly esteemed institution, probably the best in the world, and at the time The Best. So he was vetted early on.
One of the things to understand is that he in particular studied counter-intelligence which is key in understanding why he’s the critical player. As you and the audience understand, counter-intelligence is not just finding spies, but its actually countering the work of other agents who are embedded or whose work involves embedding themselves to destroy institutions from within. And so now we move forward into nearly the modern period, where in between 1985 and 1990 he was stationed in East Germany, in particular in Dresden, and his job there was to coordinate the work of Stasi operatives, which was like the East German version of the KGB, to coordinate the work of Stasi operatives and KGB. And through this he made a lot of contacts.
Now one has to understand that for a long time, probably since the 60’s, within KGB war rooms, where they basically sit down and they form separate study groups, like a think tank, and they run through all of the different possible scenarios of how the enemy is going to try to take down the Soviet state. They basically ruled out intercontinental ballistic nuclear warfare, they pretty much ruled that out because of MAD. But they basically believed that the main way that the Soviet Union was going to be taken down was from within, through agents infiltrating and a course of events. And this is not something that’s talked about a lot in the media. They tend to focus on the Soviet adventure in Afghanistan or Imperial reach or over-extension, but in fact the Soviets recognized early on that the primary weakness was the situation that involved precisely what happened. And because of that they already had counter measures and game plans and game scenarios figured out. They had them mapped out, like in chess, you have them mapped out 10, 15, 20 moves in advance.
So in essence what basically happened you had the state apparatus which was compromised. At the core of every state is this intelligence organization, and in this case its the KGB, and then what the CIA basically succeeded in doing was compromising key elements of the KGB. But because this was one scenario that had already been planned ahead, the KGB had already had a system of vetting their double and triple agents, so they had an inner core of the KGB so basically after the period between ’89 to ’93 they went through a very rigorous process of hermetically sealing off a state within the state. So there was sort of a Soviet era KGB which was existing. And this is sort of like the spy left out in the cold scenario.
So you need certain types of people, a certain type of rigor, a psychological type which can exist for a long time while there’s tons of misinformation, disinformation, and propaganda, and people turning on you left and right and you can persevere with the mission. And this is the hermetically sealed inner core of the KGB.
What ultimately happened is you had the Gorbachev-Yeltsin scenario just as the Soviets had predicted was one very likely possible scenario.
And the thing is he (Putin) is a person with his own clear sense of person-hood. This has been written about, there was a book written ‘Confessions of an Economic Hit Man’, by John Perkins, and he wrote that there are certain types of personalities, a psychological profile, there are certain personality types of world leaders who cannot be corrupted. They what are called incorruptible. They are incorruptible men. They are people of purpose, they might have a profound spiritual component, or they might just have a profound sense of justice or purpose. And they cannot be bought off, and they are not afraid of death so they cannot be threatened with death. So if you cannot buy someone off and you cannot scare them, I’m not saying that he’s a person who can’t be criticized. I personally have a problem with Monday morning quarterbacking or back-seat driving. I think that being in situations demands certain things which are not meant for most people to understand, quite frankly.
But nevertheless they had this hermetically sealed KGB, and they created the illusion that they were all compromised agents, because the whole state was falling apart and the oligarchs were coming in and many of the oligarchs came from within the KGB and the military. And many of them immediately received Israeli dual citizenship. What happened was there was a whole process, its still going on right now, but I think main work has already been done, that’s my assessment.
But they basically had to … one of the things that Putin had to do to gain trust of the disloyal oligarchs or the agents who turned, was that he had to be involved in some of these little scams and there was a transaction of precious metals and what not, a hundred million euros here and there, unaccounted for, and Putin had to be involved in these, in these mafia like crimes, to gain the trust of these mafia like oligarchs. Many of them were American and Israeli citizens and agents as well.
He had to play the role of double agent, but once you’re in a double agent role, I won’t digress here, but once you’re in a double agent role actually it becomes a little bit easier because things that make you look like a triple agent you can justify, you can excuse under the role of being a double agent because you’re going back and forth. So things that make you look like you’re actually … you’re already known as someone who works on both sides so you can always explain things has having to keep up appearances.
The work is very difficult and stressful but once you’ve established that you’re a double agent the work becomes a little easier insofar as gaining trust, knowing who you’re working with.
Russia is his principle. In response to suggestions that Putin is supported by Jewish oligarchs or Israeli oligarch, or he’s a false opposition figure. The problem with convincing lies is that there are significant elements of truth to them.
In order for him to play his role, the reason that he was the perfect match for this position, is that he was able to make alliances with some of these oligarchs. Now many of these, since, have fled the country, there are a couple that he had taken out, there was a couple that he put in prison, some are living in Switzerland, some are living in England. Those are the obvious betrayers of the Russian state. With others its still, its like fishing and you there’s a give and take with the pole, and he’s trying to reel in different people but he’s one of the last of the Mohicans. Putin’s one of the last of the Mohicans.
There are people who put principle before everything, and they are not successful. There are people who are just completely, purely opportunistic or pragmatic to the point of opportunism and they are successful at enriching themselves but they normally leave a wasted society behind them. But there are people who understand the middle path, between staying true to the ideal (and being pragmatic).
Just like in Sun Tzu’s Art of War, the tactics of the opponent are not what defines him. You must use all of the tactics at your disposal. What defines the opponent is that he is in opposition to you fundamentally, and if you are trying to take the path of the righteous you cannot practice so-called purity of arms. You have to use all of the tactics that work of the opponent. So its not the opponent’s tactics that define him as evil. It’s his goals.
So what (Sun Tzu) he’s saying is that the Ends Justify the Means. And this the thought, this is Putin’s mind.
Explaining the pioneering club, the Young Pioneers was connected to the International Youth Comsomol, this was just the Communist Youth. Anyone who had aspirations to be like a bureaucrat or a middle manager, something boring like that, had to be a Young Pioneer. You know, kids joined as early as 5 or 6, instead Putin was taking Judo classes. He was kind of a rebel, because he saw he was living in a society that had a lot of hypocrisy and contradictions. This actually made him the type of agent that works.
One of the failings in American intelligence is that they are recruiting primarily the goody two-shoes and the yes-men. And this creates, in social psychology and in public administration this creates a paradox called the Abilene paradox or Group Think Paradox, which is basically that if you recruit people based upon the fact that they are pliable and that they are people who go along with the program, then you are basically blocking the possibility of making intelligent decision making.
And so one of the main failings in American intelligence is that they are hiring people primarily from military background who are conformists, but what makes the best intelligence officer is someone who’s had a background of non-conformity and who has a strong sense of their personal identity. Those are people who can’t be bought off. That’s the type of psychological profile that Putin fits.