Russia vs. Google: Who Will Win?

RT is an official Russian news and video service. YouTube has just suspended RT’s two German-language channels, thereby provoking the ire of the Russian government.

Google is richer and more powerful than most sovereign states, so a dispute between it and Russia very much resembles an international diplomatic crisis. If Google were a country, Russia would have just recalled its ambassador from it.

Below are three recent German-language articles from RT translated by Hellequin GB. The first two appeared before YouTube’s suspension of RT’s channels.

The first article features an interview with a Russian philosopher about the recent German general elections:

Alexander Dugin on the results of the federal election: “German politics is characterized by self-hatred”

The general election that took place on Sunday puts an end to the Angela Merkel era. In an exclusive interview with RT DE, the Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin comments on the election result and its consequences for Russian-German relations.

After the general election on Sunday, RT DE spoke to the Russian philosopher, political scientist and sociologist Alexander Dugin. In an exclusive interview with the broadcaster, the 59-year-old commented on the election result and its consequences for German-Russian relations. The political scientist described the previous general election as unusual. He pointed to the “colossal” defeat of the CDU and the CSU. The result means a blow against the right-wing center and the right-wing liberals, with whom Russia has had good relations. At the same time, Dugin recalled that the bilateral relationship had been even better during the chancellorship of SPD politician Gerhard Schröder.

“Relations between Russia and Germany have a much deeper dimension and go beyond this or that governing coalition.”

According to Dugin, only something extraordinary, such as a Greens victory that many had prophesied, could radically worsen that ratio. The political scientist described Annalena Baerbock as a representative of the movement of US investor George Soros and accused her party of being more globalist than green. Dugin pointed out, among other things, that the Greens had spoken out against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

“The Social Democrats, who have now won, and the CDU/CSU represent a continuation of the status quo for Russia.”

In his conversation with RT DE , the philosopher said that relations between Russia and Germany were anything but wonderful. He cited the dependence of German foreign policy on the US government as the reason for this, even though the country was economically very strong and sympathized with Russia.

“Germany is completely dependent on US politics. It is not a sovereign state. …In this respect, it has been an occupied territory to a certain extent so far.”

Dugin described the US military presence in Germany as a continuation of the post-war occupation despite the Soviet troop withdrawal. Although Germany tries to defend its economic interests, it only partially succeeds. The thinker, citing several colleagues, announced that the country was facing a turbulent period with a possible political and social crisis. Too many contradictions have accumulated.

“The Germans are indeed very chaotic. All of their order stems from the fact that they know this and are terribly afraid of this chaos.”

The political scientist also commented on the fate of so-called European continentalism under Angela Merkel as Federal Chancellor. Dugin stressed that the positions of continentalism had been stronger under Schröder. Against the backdrop of the Iraq war in 2003, the Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis emerged, but was later destroyed by the so-called Atlanticists. Under Merkel, continentalism took a few steps backwards. Although the Chancellor tried to smooth out certain currents, she was in the wake of US Atlanticism and a “docile” politician. There are, however, tendencies towards continentalism in the SPD, the Left and the AfD.

Dugin also explained the AfD’s loss of votes, although he himself had previously predicted an upturn in the party. The AfD is challenging the consensus of the liberal pro-Western elites, walking a fine line by accusing them of extremism. However, the AfD is bourgeois through and through.

“Sometimes the German philistine simply breaks the patience. That’s why he has to formulate his views much harder, and that’s why he votes for the AfD.”

However, this party had started to crumble and failed to find a plausible ideological model. It didn’t take the chance and lost votes because of the internal disputes. At the same time, Dugin expressed the opinion that Germany needed a party that would criticize liberalism, Atlanticism and globalization. During the turbulent times ahead, the AfD will strengthen its positions if it is smart enough to seize the opportunity.

In his exclusive interview with RT DE , the philosopher also commented on the record number of votes for the Greens. He described environmental protection as the last refuge for politicians who had nothing to say.

“The absolute lack of a political philosophy is being replaced by simplified notions about the need to protect the environment.”

Dugin linked the success of the Greens to infantilism, myopia and hysteria. The political scientist was very pleased that the result for the Greens was more modest than previously forecast. If they came to power, there would be no more international politics in Germany. For Russia, the strengthening of their positions would be anything but positive. The political scientist compared the actions of the Greens with fascism. In Germany, due to the excessive striving for order and rationality, this ultimately degenerated into nationalistic madness.

“Today it is the other way around: the idea of freedom, relaxation, humanity, charity and indulgence in vices and diseases now lead to the opposite pole by virtue of the same German excessiveness.”

Since the Greens are against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, among other things, nothing good can be foreseen for the bilateral relationship with Russia in the case of their government. According to Dugin, the project is beneficial for both Berlin and Moscow. German industry needs Russian mineral resources in order to maintain the status quo in the economy and the pace of growth.

Dugin described relations between Washington and Berlin as not an equal dialogue. The US government treats Germany like a colony that has long been economically autonomous and independent.

“This very contradiction causes the American-German relationship. The Germans would pay a high price to increase their sovereignty even a little, but the Americans hold it as George Floyd was once held so that he couldn’t breathe.”

This contradiction is anything but healthy. After the Second World War, the German ideology was that the German people should hate everything German. Dugin called this phenomenon “politics of self-hatred”. This contradiction also shapes the relationship between Berlin and Moscow. Germany is only to be pitied in this situation, especially since it already suffers from a kind of Stockholm Syndrome.

Afterword from the translator:

Looking in from the outside as an expat for over 30 years, I think Dugin nailed the German psyche. Personally — during the three times I’ve actually been back to Germany — I cannot find any common ground with most Germans. Their self-pitying, self-restricting self-hatred is and was anathema to me from a young age onwards, and was one of the main reasons why I left at the end of 1988 for the Dark Heart of Africa.

Next is an interview with former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev:

Russian ex-President Medvedev in an interview with RT about elections, double standards and tech giants

In an interview with RT, the former President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev comments on the political double standards and the alleged influence on the Duma election by US tech giants. These companies would earn money in countries, but ignore their laws.

In September, elections to the State Duma of the Russian Federation took place in Russia. The ruling party United Russia, which consistently supports the policies of the Kremlin and in whose election campaign Russian President Vladimir Putin took an active part, received 324 of 450 seats and thus achieved a constitutional majority in the newly elected Duma.

In an exclusive interview with RT , the party leader and former Russian President Dmitri Medvedev speaks about the indirect interference of the US internet giants in the Russian elections, countermeasures by the Russian government, and the double standards of international organizations.

According to the Russian Ministry of Digital Development, the servers of the Central Electoral Commission of Russia were attacked several times during the three-day vote. About half of the cyber attacks are said to have originated in the USA. “Isn’t that a reason to open an investigation?” asks Medvedev. According to him, however, it is up to law enforcement agencies and the State Department to decide whether to investigate alleged attempts at influence.

However, the former Russian president is certain that other states, including the US, will also be critical of the power that large tech companies have gained. The politician points out that the activities of the Internet giants are often subject only to their own company rules, ignoring the laws of the states in which they operate.

As an example of tech giants’ interference in Russian political life, Medvedev cited the dissemination of content from the opposition politician Alexei Navalny. He had expressed himself critical of the Kremlin and the United Russia party. The Kremlin critic’s account on Twitter was also shown to the former Russian president as a first recommendation. Medvedev judged this to be clear interference:

“At some point you complied with Roskomnadzor’s request and stopped this activity. But when? Exactly at the beginning of the vote. Before that, this machine turned and propagated videos of a person serving a sentence.”

According to the head of the Russian ruling party, the tech giants had tried to “implement their political line in a country that was foreign to them” in this way. The Russian government must respond accordingly. In his opinion, other states, including the USA and EU member states, are also taking measures to counteract this influence of the digital giants:

“You make money in another state and don’t care about its laws. Mankind will not agree to this action. I am sure that such laws will eventually be passed in almost all states in the world.”

Medvedev also accused the video platform YouTube of double standards. According to the company’s new rules, content that questions the legitimacy and results of the US presidential election will be deleted. The same now applies to the recent elections to the German Bundestag. Medvedev pointed out that this did not apply to the elections in Russia.

The former Russian president also accused the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) of a policy characterized by double standards, since it had refused to send observers to the Duma elections. The organization wanted to send 500 experts to Russia, while only 30 observers were sent to the US elections. Moscow asked to reduce the number of experts in view of the current COVID-19 restrictions, to which the OSCE responded with a complete refusal:

“Obviously this was a biased attitude. They wanted to discredit the elections as illegitimate from the start.”

In June, the Anti-Corruption Foundation and all other Alexei Navalny’s organizations were classified as extremist in Russia and had to cease their activities. The search engines Google and Yandex were also prohibited from displaying results for the search term “Smart Voting”. Navalny’s Smart Voting Project aimed to attract alternative candidates to the Russian legislative bodies.

The final article concerns the official Russian government response to YouTube’s suspension of RT’s channels:

Russia’s media regulator threatens YouTube with a total ban for blocking RT DE channels

The Russian media supervisory authority Roskomnadzor has given Google LLC, the parent company of YouTube LLC, a clear ultimatum, stating that the video streaming giant faces massive restrictions if YouTube does not restore the two channels of RT’s German-language service.

In a statement released on Wednesday morning, Russia’s national media regulator, Roskomnadzor, called for “all restrictions on the RT DE and The Missing Part ( DFP ) YouTube channels operated by the RT news agency to be lifted as soon as possible.”

According to the agency, a refusal to undo this deletion would be a violation of Russian law, and “such acts can be classified as a violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms and can be given a formal warning as a result.” Roskomnadzor added:

“In the event that the owner of the platform does not comply with the warning, legislation allows us to take action, including total or partial blocking of access to this platform.”

On Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry described the decision to remove the two channels as an “act of unprecedented information aggression” and an “obvious manifestation of censorship and suppression of freedom of expression.” According to the diplomats, YouTube LLC acted with “obvious tolerance, if not at the urging” of the German authorities.

Both RT DE and DFP were removed from YouTube on the same day, reportedly with no prospect of appeal. YouTube claims the deleted channels violated the service’s rules by attempting to circumvent a violation of “community guidelines,” which it previously issued a warning of alleged “medical misinformation” that had been in four videos [in fact, those were podcasts]. The details of the alleged violation are not yet clear, but the editor-in-chief of RT, Margarita Simonjan, said yesterday evening that this latest event was tantamount to a “media declaration of war by Germany against Russia.”

9 thoughts on “Russia vs. Google: Who Will Win?

  1. Great article, and all is true , abut Greens, AFD, and SPD . I think if AFD will be smart enough and keep fighting, it will be successful at the end of this madness, We’ll see what happens, give them another 2-3 years , if nothing collapsed in the meantime with this clueless government..

  2. Ouch. Let them go to the swamp (in the sense: let them perish in the swamp). Or as you say: “A plague on both your houses”
    Quote from one Russian blog:
    But the whole, absolutely the whole world history fits into four short words: the fight of [excrement] with evil. Scarlet and White Rose, King David, three hundred Spartans, the French Revolution, the October Revolution, the First World War, the Second World War, the Boers against the Britons, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, there are no exceptions. Occasionally, of course, there are clashes of evil against evil or [excrement] against [excrement], but anyway, in any case, one of the evil sides turns out to be [more excremental] than the other, and, accordingly, on the contrary, one of the [excremental] sides turns out to be angrier.

  3. Google doesn’t have a military that I am aware of.
    Maybe the Russians should leverage that…

    • The KGB, sorry FSB, just needs to send them a not-nice letter. On FBI paper, printed at the FBI HQ.

      Should be hilarious.

      • That would be entertaining.
        I was thinking more along the lines of a small box containing a recognizable body part from a significant other.
        Or just turning a Google campus into a crater.

        • Or something like in the Godfather Part 1.

          That should be a really rude awakening.

          But on the other hand: An animal shouldnt suffer because of stupid people.

    • The Russians being Russian will send a message, usually it involves some child of a executive having a drug overdose or falling off a balcony, usually by accident of course.

  4. Once upon a time, a lot of Germans lived in Russia. And we got along well together. There is such a novel “Oblomov” – just about that. There are many German words left in the lexicon. I don’t remember any bad references to Germans in Russian classical literature. Yes – it was about the Jews, about the Germans – no.
    Then we were forced to quarrel. I have never been to Germany, but everyone who was there from my acquaintances says that the Germans are amazingly kind people.

  5. My money is on the Russians winning, when disputes like this arise, the bloody Russians 9 out of 10 times send a message, it comes in the form of a couple executives have tragic accidents, or they go loud and knock off a few of the top people for fun.

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