Saturday, October 24, 2015

fin d'siecle murkinism an embarrassing pathetic spectacle...,

WaPo |  In July, British authorities froze RT’s accounts to comply with the verdicts. Belgium and France also launched proceedings to take similar action against Russian state assets. The United States and other Western governments should follow suit in an organized effort, especially in light of a petition for the United States to do so by Yukos’s former principals. (Khodorkovsky is not a party to the suit.)

RT is the key to Putin’s propaganda effort to discredit the West and obfuscate the truth of Russian actions. It has a global reach through cable and the Internet and claims an audience, likely exaggerated, of 700 million people in 100 countries. It has a large studio in Washington and bureaus throughout the United States and Europe. Russian government financing for RT and similar propaganda outlets, including Sputnik news, is roughly half a billion dollars. 

Seizing Russian Embassy and consulate property in Washington and elsewhere is not an option given the inviolability of diplomatic missions. That leaves few other possibilities for going after Russian properties — and makes RT an inviting target. Even for Russia, with more than $350 billion in hard currency reserves and the most natural-resources wealth of any country in the world, $52 billion is a lot of money, especially in the midst of an economic crisis, low oil prices and the squeeze of continued sanctions against the regime.