Much of the mainstream American media has been so preoccupied with GOP nominee Donald Trump’s 11-year-old comments that they seemed to have missed a development in Russia that has extremely ominous undertones.
According to a translation of this Russian news story, the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered state officials and government workers whose children are studying abroad to bring them home immediately, even if it means taking them out of class before the formal end of the semester.
As reported by Zero Hedge, the “recommendation” applies to everyone from administration staff, to regional administrators and lawmakers of all levels. Employees of state-owned corporations are also subject to the quasi-order.
One of the sources who spoke to the Russian publication said failure to comply would be a “complicating factor in the furtherance of their public sector career” – in other words, they would likely be fired, or worse. The official added that there has been several such cases in recent months.
But it’s what another expert said, perhaps in speculation, about the impetus of the edict that is very worrisome.
Officially, the government appears to be concerned about the appearance of a public double standard. Putin, you may not have known, is having a major diplomatic row with the United States over Syria. Washington and some Western governments have imposed economic sanctions on Moscow over its reported involvement in Ukraine. As such, some speculate the optics of having children of Russian governing elite being educated abroad – while their parents appear on Russian TV talking about patriotism and the country being “surrounded by enemies.”
However, one Russian official, Stanislav Belkovsky, had this to say about why Putin wants government officials to bring their kids home now.
“On the one hand, this is all part of the package of measures to prepare elites for some ‘big war’ even if it is rather conditional, on the other hand – this is another blow to the unity of President Putin with his own elite,” Belkovsky, a political analyst said.
Wouldn’t a world leader want the children of those serving in his government safe before hostilities arise between said “enemies?”
Whatever the real reason motivating Putin to issue such an edict, one thing is clear – diplomatic relations between Russia and the West have sunk again to a new low. As it sinks, Zero Hedge noted, it will result “in even greater collapse in global commerce and a further slowdown to world economic growth, which may ultimately lead to an armed conflict, whether regional or global, as the only possible outcome.”