Freedom Chronicles #6
Russia’s Freedom Fighters By Larry Kelley
In these columns, my intention is to report on the freedom movements inside totalitarian regimes such as China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, regimes that are dedicated to the annihilation or subjugation of Western governments. In so doing, I’m assuming their governments are less able or less likely to attack us while they are destabilized, quelling their own insurrections, or collapsing altogether.
In our last issue, we focused on the riots and protests in Iran which I’m happy to report continue to mount. Over the past nine months ending in June, the Iranian Mullahs have had to put down 3,600 protests across the country with 21,000 freedom fighters arrested and sadly 600 killed.
In this issue, we turn to a revanchist Russia which controls the world’s largest arsenal of nuclear weapons but where we see Putin bogged down in his effort to reconquer Ukraine.
Putin has stated that the fall of the Soviet Union was the single greatest tragedy of the 20th century. He fancies himself a Czarist conqueror, yet he has lost half his army, killed, captured, or disserted in his dystopian adventure, attacking a much smaller country experts predicted would fall in a matter of weeks.
It is useful to note that Putin is the heir to the communist thugs who ruled a Soviet empire that lasted only 74 years. In short, he embodies one of the themes of these essays—empires run by thuggish dictators have a way of being short-lived. I suppose the record for short empires must be Hitler’s 1000-year Reich which lasted twelve years.
Recent news from Russia is the would-be usurper to the throne, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was reportedly killed when his plane was shot down in Africa.
In late June the world witnessed a stunning challenge to Putin’s rule and his mishandling of the war in Ukraine. Prigozhin, commander of the Russian mercenary army, the Wagner Group, whose hardened troops spent many months on the front lines, marched them out of Ukraine to within 120 miles from the gates of Moscow and even shot down several Russian aircraft. About 24 hours after Prigozhin swore that his fighters would force a change atop Russia’s military establishment, he turned them around under a surprise deal brokered by neighboring Belarus. In return for calling off his rebellion, he was permitted to relocate to Belarus, where, under the terms of the deal, he would be spared prosecution.
Not since he seized power from Boris Yeltsin on December 31, 1999, has Putin’s rule been so challenged. Prigozhin temporarily disappeared from worldview, briefly resurfaced a month later in Africa, and was summarily assassinated, or so it appears. In totalitarian Russia, run by a former KGB agent, any official follow-up story on Prigozhin’s death, circulated by its state-owned media, should be read with complete skepticism, even if they report the remains in the wreckage have been verified. It could all be a lie. The valuable warlord could have assumed a new identity and been assigned to some clandestine operation aimed against a Putin-targeted enemy.
While the failed insurrection exposed the fragility of Putin’s hold on power, a shadowy yet increasingly active front has erupted inside Russia. There are now numerous groups of revolutionaries operating inside Russia which range from neo-fascist to the far left, mounting brazen acts of sabotage against Russian infrastructure and, shockingly, carrying out assassinations of high-profile figures. What follows are the profiles of the three.
Russian Volunteer Corps and Denis Nitkin
Led by the far-right Denis Nikitin, the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) made international headlines recently when he claimed to lead a cross-border raid in two villages of the western Russian province of Bryansk. Official Russian news agencies report the raid killed two civilians and injured two others. Using social media, the RVC published videos shot inside Russia to back up its claims of responsibility. In short order, they almost assassinated one of Putin’s oligarchs, Konstantin Malofeev. RVC militias are also fighting alongside Ukrainian military forces.
National Republican Army and Ilya Ponomarev
The NRA is an independent network of fighters inside Russia in a dozen cities. They are an anti-Ukrainian invasion, anti-Putinist movement coordinating their resistance efforts via social media. They claim to favor the formation of a new democratic Russia which they hope to achieve either through those in power ceding power or by obtaining it through the use of violence. In August of last year, the exiled Russian parliamentarian Ilya Ponomarev claimed the group was behind the assassination of pro-war Russian journalist Darya Dugina. Ponomarev claimed the NRA was additionally behind a series of arson attacks against military sites. They also assassinated prominent pro-war Russian blogger Vladlen Tatarsky in a St. Petersburg café where most of the other patrons in the café were killed as well.
(Rostov-on-Don Russian military office)
Out of the four major groups claiming attacks within Russia, the least known is one that calls itself Black Bridge. Similar to the RVC and the NRA, Black Bridge first got significant attention by calling for action to disrupt the internationally unrecognized referendums held by Russia to annex the Ukrainian territories of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia (August 2022). The Black Bridge’s first major operation is believed to be an attack in June on a Rostov-on-Don Russian military office that reportedly killed four people and injured five others (pictured above).
A Final Note
Let me hasten to add, that there should be no sympathy extended to misguided revolutionaries, like those who sickeningly target female activists for assassination or kill innocent non-combatants. It is only important to see that the fabric of a society run by Putin and his thugs is beginning to come apart.
Secondly, with respect to Russian media, it is probable Putin assassinated his top military commander for treason but we should take nothing of what Putin and his media say at face value.
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Freedom Chronicles #5
“We’re Gonna Free Iran” – Joe Biden
In my book, Lessons from Fallen Civilizations, I wrote—”History is not an exact roadmap for the future but it is the only navigation aid we have.” Freedom lovers must face the current threat to our civilization, the new Axis of Evil, China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
Many Axis watchers believe we are now living in a 1939-like moment. Bolstered by its partners, China is rapidly advancing toward its long-and-openly-advocated goal of total hegemony over the West. This newsletter will now be dedicated to understanding our enemies, knowing their strengths, but more importantly, exploiting their weaknesses and following the Reagan model, that is, bringing them down “without firing a shot.”
China is stealing our proprietary technologies, flooding our country with fentanyl, and blackmailing our first family. We should respond in kind. Going forward, my Freedom Chronicles will report on the cracks in this unholy alliance and expose its glaring and appalling weaknesses.
Recent Events: Iran
Recent drone attacks on U.S. military bases in northeast Syria have resulted in the death of a U.S. contractor and wounded six other American soldiers. We know the drones were Iranian, launched the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps), the theocracy’s paramilitary arm responsible for smuggling explosive devices into Iraq and killing thousands of our soldiers there. Reports from local monitoring groups reported our responding attack ordered by Biden claimed between four and eight fatalities of IRGC-aligned militants.
In what is becoming an all-too-common event, our primary air defense at our Syrian base, an Avenger missile system, was “not fully operational” at the time of the attack, experiencing an unexpected maintenance problem. Thankfully, U.S. officials also said Iran-backed militias launched 10 rockets at another U.S. base in the area but yielded no casualties. Testifying before Congress, U.S. Army General Michael Kurilla, commander of American forces in the region, reported that Iran has launched 78 attacks on U.S. positions in Syria since January 2021.
Weaknesses the West Must Now Exploit
Support for the theocratic regime in Tehran is disintegrating. Iranians by the thousands took to the streets late last year, after the regime brutally murdered a 22-year-old Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, of Sunni/Kurdish descent, with unveiled brave young women and girls on the frontlines. Demonstrations continue more often and with greater intensity. Riots in Iran have been going on for over a decade.
In 2009, what came to be the “Green Revolution” saw hundreds of thousands of Iranians take to the streets in the capital to protest the fraudulent re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Nationwide protests shook the Islamic Republic in late 2017 and have occurred regularly in the years since. In November 2019, protests spurred the regime to kill as many as 1,500 demonstrators, according to Reuters. The rioters began challenging the regime’s mismanaged economy, corruption, human rights abuses, and regional aggression against minorities
Last year, protests went even further. Thousands of Iranians abandoned calls for merely reforming the system. They called for dismantling the regime. Protests have evolved from “Where is my vote?” to “What happened to the oil money?” to “Death to the Dictator!”7 This change has increased the vulnerability of the Islamic Republic, making it more susceptible to collapse.
Biden must give up on treating with the Mullahs who run their failing terrorist regime. He should seize his place in history by following the example of Reagan who, in 1987, standing in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, uttered the historic phrase, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
In November of 2022, during the height of the riots in Iran, at a campaign rally in California, Biden was confronted by a number of attendees who held up signs and cellphone reading, “Free Iran.” In response he made the aside, “Don’t worry we’re gonna free Iran.”
He must now double down on that promise and make a formal address, perhaps standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, and pledge his unbridled support for the freedom fighters in Iran and outline some specifics on how his administration will begin the forceful strangulation of the “world’s leading sponsor of terrorism.”
He could begin by announcing that his administration would henceforth designate the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) as a terrorist organization He should then announce that US government departments, State, Treasury, Energy, and Intelligence have been ordered to isolate and sanction the regime’s terrorist partners, Hezbollah, the Palestinian terror partners, Al-Nasser Salah Brigades, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others. (More to follow)
I’m nearing the end of my journey with Tyler Jones, my narrator, in the
the soon-to-be-released novel, An American Slave in Africa. Captured aboard a commercial vessel in 1801 by Muslim pirates, it is the story of a Harvard College kid who spends 15 years in Algeria, converts to Islam under torture, marries a woman born in the palace harem, becomes a loving father to two daughters, and rises to become a close advisor to the Dey of Algiers.
Jones works to gain the release of American and European prisoners
enslaved in Algiers and commands the Dey’s pretorian guard. The young
historian regularly meets with the Dey and explains to him how great conflicts of the past and present, have contributed to making America an emerging formidable world power.
An American Slave in Barbary –
The Confessions of Tyler Prescott Jones
…On June 1, 1812, President James Madison, sent a letter to Congress outlining Britain’s offenses against America, from the impressment of our merchant seamen into their navy, to the inflaming of native tribes along our frontier which were inflicting terrifying losses upon civilian communities. On June 4, the House voted a declaration of war. On July 18, 1812, Madison signed the measure putting the nation, once again, at war with Britain. Although the declaration of war passed both houses, our government was evenly split. Nearly all the Federalists voted against the war and the Republicans, equally for it. At the outset, American losses on land in the Northwest territories were severe.
On the night of November 26, 1812, when the votes from the electoral college had all but assured Madison of his reelection to the presidency, news reached Washington that Stephen Decatur had won a stunning naval victory off the Azores. Decatur’s ship, the USS United States had pounded the British frigate, the Macedonian, into submission and had delivered it home as a prize.
The captured ship’s flag was immediately transported to Washington and brought into the Tomlinson’s hotel where the first lady, Dolly Madison, and many of the capital’s most influential were attending a ball. Its attendees erupted into cheers at its entrance. The band played Yankee Doodle as the flag was laid at the first lady’s feet. A Republican Congressman, Sam Mitchell, of New York was quoted as proclaiming to his wife, “I felt myself to be in the condition of Themistocles after viewing the Persian trophies won by the Athenians at the battle of Marathon.”
…Two years later, on the night of August 23, 1814, the Madisons, Dolly and James, would spend their last in the White House. The President left the following day on horseback to visit several patriot militias in the surrounding areas of Washington, Maryland, and the Chesapeake port cities. No one knew where the British would attack. The Americans’ intelligence only let them know that the British had landed between five to seven thousand troops somewhere up the Patuxent River and were marching at night, only a few miles away, toward the port of Baltimore or the American Capital itself…