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TOPIC: Time - Person of the Year
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The article that you've left unlinked and unsourced about Putin's wealth means nothing for your argument. In fact, it supports Time's view on him. He is a very intelligent businessman.

The KGB and the FBI have the same aims and somewhat similar means. Guantanamo Bay.

Falls Church VA
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The KGB also tracked down writers who published their work anonymously abroad. The infamous case of Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel, who were put on trial in 1965 for their writing of subversive texts, illustrates the reach and obsession of the KGB in its ideological war. Sinyavsky, going by the pseudonym of "Abram Tertz," and Daniel, using the alias of "Nikolai Arzhak," were caught by Soviet surveillance of their apartment flats in Moscow after a tip-off from a KGB agent planted within the Moscow literary world.

The KGB employed multiple methods to infiltrate the dissident community. It planted agents who appeared to sympathize with the dissidents’ cause, employed smear campaigns to discredit the more public figures like Sakharov, and prosecuted dissidents in show trials or harassed the more prominent ones. In prison, Soviet interrogators attempted to wear down their charges while sympathetic KGB informants tried to gain their confidence.

Eventually, with the emergence of Mikhail Gorbachev and his policy of glasnost, persecution of dissidents was given relaxed priority in the KGB, as Gorbachev himself began to implement some of the policy changes first demanded by the dissidents.

Destin FL
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Suppression of dissent One of the KGB’s chief preoccupations during the Cold War was the suppression of unorthodox beliefs, the persecution of the Soviet dissidents, and the containment of their opinions. Indeed, this obsession with "ideological subversion" only increased throughout the Cold War, primarily due to the rise of Yuri Andropov in the KGB and his appointment as chairman in 1967. Andropov declared that every instance of dissent including all and every religious movements which rejected the Communist Party and did not worship the Secretary General were a threat to the Soviet state that must be challenged and he mobilized the resources of the KGB to achieve this goal. Soon after Yuri Andropov's appointment one of the KGB departments was assigned to deal with religious leaders, churches and its members. Most dissidents were apprehended by the KGB and sent to gulags for indefinite periods, where their dissent would lack the strength it might have had in public. Documents from the archive of Yale University [1] indicate the principal role of the heads of KGB, Yuri Andropov and then Vitali Fedorchuk, was the repression of dissidents.

Destin FL
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Putin’s Wealth: The Next Episode? December 23, 2007 | I first learned from Andy over at Siberian Light about the press brouhaha over Putin’s alleged $40 billion tucked away in banks in Switzerland and Lichtenstein. Intrigued, I set my sights on said press accounts for the story.

Claims of Putin’s hidden money bags comes from an interview Stanislav Belkovsky recently gave to Die Welt. There Belkovsky perhaps spells out the true nature of “Putinism,” a nature that harks back to Andrei Pointkovsky’s claim that Putinism is “the highest stage of robber capitalism.” Indeed, except Russian capitalism is more like collective thievery. Under Putin’s tenure, says Belkovsky, “all the interest groups are represented in the Kremlin. The people who sit there are the direct advocates and co-owners of large enterprises.” Nothing new here. What is new is the claim that Putin himself has reaped the spoils of Russia’s economic might. “Putin is a big businessman. He control 37 percent of Surgutneftegaz stock, which has a market value of $20 billion. In addition, he contols 4.5 percent of Grazprom stock. In the oil firm Gunvor Putin holds 50 percent more than its founder Gennady Timchenko.” In an interview with the Guardian, Belkovsky claims that Putin’s stake in Gunvor is as high as 75 percent.

If the estimates of Putin’s wealth are believed, the $40 billion he has tucked away would instantly make him Europe’s wealthiest man. Moreover, if true, then the comparisons between Mexico under the PRI and Russia under United Russia might gain whole new resonance. Putin’s fortune simply makes him a Slavic caudillo equipped with all the benefits the office bestows. As Robin Leach used to say in his signature accent, “With champagne wishes and caviar dreams, these are the lifestyles of the rich and famous!”

Destin FL
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"Great! since you seem to be informed, educate me, tell me what the difference is (besides the fact that one deals with outside issues and the other with internal issues). While you're at it, tell me if you can without a shadow of a doubt claim that the FBI or CIA get 100% perfect score for honesty, having the interest of the people only, and if they always do things legally :)."

Guantanamo, duh! Sure, it violates the constitution, but hey! It's okay, because we passed laws so that it would be okay to do that! lol.

Falls Church VA
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"I need to take more pics soon... "

I agree.

Rochester NY
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I generally don't congress in Bush bashing statements. IMHO, the jury is still out as to the veracity of some of the more outlandish.

When we are ten or so years down the road with those statements, as we are with the Clinton statements, we will be better able to judge their accuracy.

Fullerton CA
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DUH PolyGirl! The KGB is WAY different from the FBI! See, the FBI protects all that AMERICA stands for, and protects the WELLBEING AND FLAGWAVING we AMERICANS stand for.

The KGB protected all that RUSSIA stood for, and protected the WELLBEING AND FLAGWAVING those RUSSIANS stood for.

I think it's pretty clear. ;P

Falls Church VA
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thats why we all love you Torta!

Destin FL
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LOL..I love people that have no clue what the CIA is and how they differ from the KGB, I love the innocence of the ill or un informed...just too funny...Thanks for the laugh today!!

Destin FL
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TOPIC: Time - Person of the Year