Yesterday, news channels announced that the FSB accused Boris Kagarlitsky, a well-known pink Putinist and editor-in-chief of Rabkor, of “justifying terrorism”. The administrators of Rabkor’s information resources and Kagarlitsky’s inner circle were searched (for example, the host of their YouTube channel, psychologist Alexander Archagov). It is not known where Kagarlitsky himself is. 

The news of the opening of the case on “justification of terrorism” was widely circulated in the Western liberal and leftist press. Some left-wing Western intellectuals have already rushed to Kagarlitsky’s defence. The ignorance of Kagarlitsky’s activity and his relations with the Kremlin has an effect.

Let me remind you that Boris Kagarlitsky ideologically and practically actively participated in the organisation and conduct of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in 2014. He supported the so-called “unrecognised republics” “LNR/DNR.” “The successful uprising of hundreds of thousands, and perhaps already millions of people in Eastern Ukraine can in no way be explained by Russian interference,” he wrote 9 years ago. Yeah, of course:)

As the leftist anarchist channel Nechaevshchina correctly points out, “Kagarlitsky and his resource Rabkor promoted a dangerous myth about revolutionary Donbass. Not only that: the sociologist and his Institute of Globalisation and Social Movements collaborated with outspoken Nazis and held joint Ukrainianphobic conferences with them. In principle, Boris Kagarlitsky has always been a hand-picked man in the Kremlin: he co-operated with the CPRF and ran for election from Just Russia. Random people do not receive such patronage. There have been many exposés of the sociologist’s ties to Russia’s elites. Except that lately the left has had “collective amnesia”. Needless to say, Kagarlitsky simply changed his views. Firstly, there was no repentance. Secondly, this is not an ordinary lost Putinist, but a man with influence and resources, an opinion leader. Ideologically, Boris Kagarlitsky has contributed to fuelling the war all these years – and this should not be left without a trace.” 

In 2015, Kagarlitsky’s group even took part in training personnel for the puppet “governments” of the “LDNR.” In an interview with Russian Public Television on 12 February 2015, he publicly stated: “In the summer in Belgorod, our institute ran a school for social activists in eastern Ukraine, there were non-military people there, but civilians, exactly those, many of them, who then went on to work in the government apparatus of the people’s republics”.

Under the ideological inspiration and guidance of Kagarlitsky and with money from Vladislav Surkov, the group “Borotba”, led by Andrei Manchuk and Viktor Shapinov, after the Maidan took a kolaborant position and took part in military operations against Ukraine. You can read what this “fighting” is here

I have already written what is behind the declaration of Kagarlitsky as a “foreign agent” in May 2022. Kagarlitsky’s turn from supporting incitement of war with Ukraine to servile criticism of the Kremlin took place when his sponsor and handler, Vladislav Surkov, was finally pushed out of the trough in Moscow. 

All this time Kagarlitsky remained afloat. The FSB saw him as “their man” not only in the Russian leftist milieu, but mainly in the milieu of the European left. Kagarlitsky served as a good liaison, ensuring the “transit of narratives” from Moscow to the offices of pro-Russian leftist political parties and movements.

This explains Kagarlitsky’s smooth drift in the Ukrainian issue from a 2014 supporter of the genocide of Ukrainians and “Russian peace” to an “anti-war activist”. It was necessary not to fall out of context. So he changed his position according to the latest memoranda of Die Linke and their Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.

Actually my words are confirmed by the Kremlin’s propagandist Sergei Markov: “Kagarlitsky is probably the most influential Russian politician and left-wing expert in the world today. He has been ‘involved’ in the huge international left-wing socialist movement for 40 years. And he expresses in many respects the position of this left-wing international socialist movement. He should not be imprisoned, but the Presidential Administration should actively work with him and with hundreds of left-wing politicians in the world through him”. 

Even rospropagana matron Simonyan on the tg channel Nezygary became in Kagarlitsky’s defence:  “Kagarlitsky is a scientist, author of many scientific publications. Kagarlitsky is a well-known researcher of the international left-wing movement. The criminal case against him is a shameful fact. Conservative Russia humiliates and destroys a leftist intellectual. All this is disgusting, unnatural and disgusting”.

Before he himself came under the article, Kagarlitsky tried to give an assessment of the Girkin/Strelkov case. He wrote that Strelkov’s arrest did not cause mass unrest or even any serious protests. A small crowd gathered outside the courthouse shouted “Shame, shame!” a few times and then sadly dispersed. The patriotic movements, by virtue of their very ideology, were incapable of independent political initiative, continuing to appeal stubbornly to the very people they opposed…. Deprived of leaders and political perspective, they are demoralised and disoriented. 

When Kagarlitsky himself is tried (if it comes to that), it is unlikely that anyone will go to court with a picket. Firstly, there is no one; secondly, Kagarlitsky and his supporters have nothing to offer for their mobilisation. And thirdly, Boria himself will “appeal to those he opposed”, well, maybe to the “international community”. Strelkov has no such opportunity. 

What happened to Kagarditsky, why did he get into the case of “justification of terrorism”? In my opinion, we are talking about a symmetrical message. Adjusting the framework of the future information and propaganda “ideology” to fit Putin’s regime-2024 implies not only lowering the bubbles of “turbo-patriots” like Strelkov, but also lowering the degree of criticism in the marginal left. Kagarlitsky is an excellent symbolic victim of such a tune-up. And in the leftist party he is kind of famous, “opinion leader of leftist anti-war groups” (in reality he is not), Westerners will howl, historical background from Soviet dissident times. A great technological move by the AP. 

We should remember that Kagarlitsky is a paragon of pink Putinism, which played not the least role in dragging Putin’s narratives into European leftist discourse and justifying the genocidal war against the Ukrainian people. It is just that now he is needed as an exception to the rules, to confirm the Kremlin’s most important rule. Kagarlitsky himself must realise this, or is he whining somewhere now “why me? 

Vitalii KULYK


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