On Sunday I spoke with Polish journalist Tomasz Pompowski, who wanted to give me an update on events in Europe. The picture he painted was not entirely pleasant. Russia, he said, was promoting economic and political instability. Russia’s role is not generally understood, he explained, but “whenever you look behind a little, you see the Russians. You see former KGB people.” The game appears to involve businesses, including media businesses – but especially the energy business. The Russians make a great deal of money by exporting gas and oil. It also appears they have a special strategy for dealing with their competition.
“The peaceful siesta after the collapse of the Berlin Wall was deceptive,” said Pompowski. The Russians, he explained, made use of the Arab world in order to cause problems and play games with future energy prices. “If you talk to KGB dissidents,” he said, “they will tell you that the most important research department in the KGB was that devoted to Arabic language, culture and Islam, going back since before the invasion of Afghanistan.” The Arabs and the Iranian Muslims control a very considerable part of global energy production. If trouble can be stirred up within these countries, or between countries, then Russia will get more money for its energy exports. For example, the political destabilization of Saudi Arabia could be very profitable for Russia. At present, encouraging Iranian nuclear ambitions, with the attending sanctions on Iran, may also lead to higher Russian profits.
Russia is also making economic moves into Europe and Israel. “Russian tycoons are buying up the Israeli media,” he said. “Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch is under attack just as he was starting to invest in Eastern Europe.” Pompowski pointed to the fact that Murdoch’s rival in the United Kingdom is “former” Soviet KGB officer Alexander Lebedev, who owns the Evening Standard and is buying Murdoch’s News of the World which was closed down three weeks ago in the wake of a scandal in which News of the World was found by British police to have hacked the phone calls of nearly 4,000 people, including members of the Royal family. “Look at that,” said Pompowski.
When I asked Pompowski why the Russian operatives would block Murdoch in Eastern Europe while taking over his outlets in Britain, he explained: “I believe Moscow has to put down the alternative voices.” Why would this be necessary? Moscow is trying to split off Europe from America through the agency of anti-American active measures. Murdoch’s media outlets represent an obstacle to such an effort. “The late Gen. Odom believed that the Soviet Union transformed itself into these different entities,” noted Pompowski. “Now the NATO states have to understand this new complex of power, and they must take notice.” The danger, said Pompowski, is that Russia may “damage and destabilize the structures established after the Second World War, which were part of the Western security system.” The official Russian policy is to create a new “security architecture for Europe.” This translates as Europe without NATO – that is to say, Europe dominated by Russia.
Pompowski also spoke of revelations that the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Georgia last year was carried out by Russian GRU officer Maj. Yevgeny Borisov, and was coordinated by Russian military intelligence. Why would Russian military officials order an attack against a U.S. Embassy? “I believe the Russian state is completely in disarray,” Pompowski explained. “There are several criminal powers within the state, all acting along different lines. I think in the end they are lost. Russia is a rogue state. It is completely a rogue state.” The idea is that Russia is caught between nationalist, communist, mafia and ersatz-Orthodox Christian power blocs. Yet all the various internal Russian power groups share a similar perspective when it comes to America. “Have you seen the report on the visit of the Russian ambassador to NATO with members of Congress?” asked Pompowski. “Ambassador Rogozin met with Senators Kyl and Kirk on Tuesday or Thursday, and he called them ‘monsters of the Cold War.’”
Pompowski also spoke of the ersatz-Christian Norwegian terrorist, Anders Bhering Breivik, who was allegedly trained earlier this year at a secret paramilitary field camp in Belarus (a former Soviet republic currently defended by the Russian military and used as a conduit for exporting crime, drugs, weapons – and perhaps even terrorists). Supposedly, Breivik visited Minsk last spring. “There is a discussion of Russian links with this tragedy in Norway,” said Pompowski. “The information is growing all the time.” Breivik’s code name within the Belarus KGB was allegedly “Viking,” though his connection to Russia is unproven, his praise for Putin and the Russian political system is coincident with his disgust for the soft, politically correct democracies of Western Europe and Scandinavia.
I asked Tomasz about the idea that somebody in Moscow has been pushing Right Wing extremism in Europe. “I am close to this theory,” Pompowski responded. “But you cannot find in this a homogeneous Russian goal. There is no one in control of the Russian state. It is a conglomerate of different states.” Of course, support for Slavic nationalism is nothing new, he explained.” They were behind the nationalism of Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia, for example. The Russians are involved in many manipulations, some of them established under Gorbachev or earlier.” According to Pompowski, the tendency of these manipulations is to destabilize the West, to bring higher energy prices and to foster extremism. The Russian military has indeed been fostering a movement in Europe, acknowledged Pompowski. “Unlike the militaries of the West, they had a department of military philosophy placed high up within the strategic command system. These people claimed to be Russian Orthodox, but the majority of the Russian Orthodox leadership had their origins within the KGB. Under the Soviet Union you had to get through the KGB to rise as a priest. Now these people are given a free hand, and are still involved in KGB strategies.”
I asked Pompowski about the release of an independent report on the tragic air crash that killed the Polish president last year as he traveled to mark the 60th anniversary the Katyn Forest massacre where thousands of Polish military officers were slaughtered by the Soviets in 1940. He described how Russian officials hindered Polish investigators of the air crash, denying them access to aircraft wreckage, onboard voice recordings and more. In summing up, Pompowski translated a line from Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert, which was used in the report, and which had to do with the Katyn massacre.
“And do not forgive
“And you are not entitled to forgive
“On behalf of those who are betrayed.”
It is an apt three lines which the entire world should commit to memory, especially as the number of those betrayed is bound to grow.