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"Conversion of Russia" Update:

Premier Putin Sacks A Critic

by Christopher A. Ferrara

Now that Vladimir Putin is the official neo-Stalinist dictator of Russia, it seems fitting to refer to him henceforth as Premier Putin, the same title held by Stalin himself.

In the manner of a neo-Stalinist premier, Putin is already beginning a purge of anyone in his government who utters a peep of protest against the new dictatorship. Not that there are many such hardy souls left. In fact, I am aware of only one: Andrei Illarionov, a high-ranking economic adviser at the Kremlin.

At the end of December Illarionov delivered what the New York Times called “a searing and comprehensive assessment of the state of affairs in Russia, saying the country had sharply shifted direction and risked becoming a third world state.” (New York Times, Jan. 4, 2005). Indeed, the Times notes that “for more than a year the debate about Russia’s course and its political chill has been lively, with much public worrying over the plans and judgment of Mr. Putin and the group of former KGB officers with whom he tightly controls the nation’s political life.”

Read that phrase again: “… Mr. Putin and the group of former KGB officers with whom he tightly controls the nation’s political life.” Where in the propaganda pieces written by Fr. Robert Fox and his fellow Fatima revisionists have we seen mention of the fact that Russia today — 20 years after her supposed “consecration” to the Immaculate Heart in 1984 — is tightly controlled by Putin and a group of former KGB officers (who now call themselves FSB officers)? Why, nowhere, of course. Fox is engaged in one of the most shameful cover-ups since the Times’ own Walter Duranty deliberately concealed and denied the mass starvation of the Ukrainian Kulaks by Stalin in the 1930s — perhaps the greatest lie in the history of journalism.

At any rate, when I heard of Illarionov’s frank public remarks, I wondered “How long before the axe falls on him?” The answer: about a week. On January 4, 2005 the Times reported that “Putin relieved … the adviser of his duties as Russia’s envoy to the Group of 8, comprising the world’s major industrialized nations and Russia.” Illarionov’s duties were reassigned to “a more loyal Kremlin insider, Igor Shuvalov.”

The Times reports that Illarionov’s spokesman and the Kremlin have both advised that “for the moment he [Illarionov] would retain his principal post.” But that post has been stripped of its most important duties, and Illarionov is clearly headed for the door.

So, Premier Putin is the latest Russian dictator, and his last vocal critic is on the way out. This, Fr. Fox would have us believe, is the state of Russia that Our Lady promised as the result of Russia’s consecration to Her Immaculate Heart.

The Catholic Church has its own Walter Duranty. His name is Fr. Robert Fox.