The Kremlin’s so-called “partners”

For the Kremlin’s friends in the west, the reality of Russia’s actions is finally sinking in.

This text originally appeared in Russian on Colta, a leading Russian platform for comment and discussion. Colta is funded by donations – find out how you can help here.

Before Crimea, everyone “cooperated with the Russians”. And until mid-2016, no one knew what to think or do with this history of cooperation. Sanctions hardly made a dent in this “cooperation regime”.

But beginning with the US presidential elections, important changes are taking place — and it’s hard to know what to call them or how to describe them. Externally, we see that people who were supposed to communicate with “the Russians” are losing their positions. And this is accompanied by public scandals. It’s not the case that these people cooperated with some questionable goals in mind, but they’d come into contact with a taboo — zashkvar in Russian criminal slang.

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