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December 30th, 2017
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Louis J. Marinelli is a man on a quixotic mission: to help California secede from the United States and become an independent country.
Surprisingly, this quest has been going relatively well of late. Marinelli's group, Yes California, is attempting to collect 585,000 signatures necessary to place a secessionist question on the 2018 ballot. Buoyed by California's already tense relationship with President Trump, the campaign has received a large amount of press coverage and support over the past few months.
But for the 30-year-old Yes California president, there remains one annoying problem: People keep asking him why he lives in Russia.
In the wake of Yes California's recently acquired momentum, a lot of people have taken note of Marinelli's unusual home base. Numerous articles have appeared in the Californian media noting Marinelli's choice of residence. On social media, discussions about Marinelli often take on a deeply conspiratorial tone.
“Hands off California, Putin,” a rival secessionist movement, the California National Party, tweeted in January. “We won't take orders from your puppet Moscow Marinelli.”
Marinelli has perhaps compounded the issue by making numerous appearances on Russian state media (approximately once a week, by his own estimation), at times offering a political viewpoint that seems to line up neatly with the Kremlin's. In late December, the Russian media gave widespread coverage to Marinelli as his group opened a “Californian Embassy” in Moscow.
Speaking via video chat from his home in Yekaterinburg earlier this month, Marinelli seemed exasperated when quizzed about his decision to live in Russia.
“And Barack Obama was born in Kenya, right?” he said incredulously.
“The fact that I'm an English teacher in Yekaterinburg doesn't mean there's some Russian government conspiracy or support for our campaign,” Marinelli said. “The fact that I studied Russian language courses at Saint Petersburg State University in 2007 or '08 doesn't mean that I know Vladimir Putin, who graduated from there in 1975.”
He offered an explanation for his circumstances that went into more detail than one posted in a FAQ section on the Yes California website. It presented a reasonable — though unusual — set of events that had resulted in him leading a Californian independence movement from half a world away.
It goes like this: Buffalo-born Marinelli moved to California in 2006. A year later, he upped sticks and went to Saint Petersburg State University to study Russian. He lived “on and off” in Russia between 2007 and 2011, during which time he met his wife, a Russian citizen. The pair moved back to San Diego, but Marinelli's partner ran into problems with the U.S. immigration system.
“Her visa had expired and there was really no way for us to easily adjust her status,” Marinelli said. “If she had left the country, she'd be banned for 10 years, and so that wasn't an option.”
Marinelli said they received a “glimmer of hope” last August that would allow his wife, who has been unable to leave the country until her legal status in the United States was secured, a chance to return home. She was desperate to visit her family, he said, so Marinelli found an apartment in Yekaterinburg and a job teaching English for a semester that provided him a visa. But then, according to his telling, “the immigration thing kind of fell through,” and his wife was unable to travel.
The end result was that Marinelli was obliged to go to Russia, he said, while his Russian wife was stuck in San Diego. “We're still working on resolving the problem,” Marinelli said, adding that his wife was in the process of getting a green card. “Hopefully that goes well and we can end this chapter of our lives.”
It's a strange situation — and not exactly how some of Marinelli's partners in Yes California describe it (Marcus Ruiz Evans, the group's vice president, told The Washington Post that Marinelli's wife also lived in Russia).
But it is a plausible scenario.
Marinelli's ties to Alexander Ionov are perhaps bigger conspiracy fodder. Ionov is the founder of the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia, a group that supports various secessionist movements around the world. Last September, he put on a Kremlin-sponsored event in Moscow for Western secessionists that Marinelli and other representatives of Yes California attended.
Reached via email, Ionov said that about 30 percent of the funding for the event came from the Russian government. But he said none of that money was given to any U.S. groups, including Yes California. Marinelli also pushed back on the idea that this represents a link with the Russian government.
“We don't have any communication with or contact with or receive any support of any kind from the Russian government or any Russian government officials,” Marinelli said.
“We're not actively pursuing a dialogue with Vladimir Putin here in Russia even though I'm in Russia,” he added.
Would Putin want a dialogue? Some experts said that while Ionov and his group may have some limited ties to the Kremlin, they are ultimately small fry in Moscow.
Simon Saradzhyan, the founding director of the Russia Matters Project at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, said that the Russian government probably wasn't taking the Yes California project very seriously, “if only because that chances that this movement can eventually win independence for that state are close to zero.” But Saradzhyan also noted that Russia could well be interested in getting revenge on Washington for what it saw as U.S. support for Chechen separatism in the 1990s.
Fiona Hill, a Russia expert with Brookings Institution, said in an email that historical Russian links to California added further intrigue to the situation.
“Russia had a major early-19th century colony in California and there has been quite a lot of interest in promoting this from circle’s close to the Kremlin,” Hill said, pointing to Kremlin-connected oligarch Viktor Vekselberg and his interest in Fort Ross, the former colony in what is now Sonoma County.
It sounds outlandish, but after an election in which Russian interference supposedly helped a former reality television star with no political experience gain entry to the White House — well, perhaps it doesn't seem that outlandish. Marinelli didn't sound like a fan of the way that election turned out. He repeatedly criticized Trump during his interview with WorldViews, noting how the U.S. president had threatened to defund California.
Marinelli also admitted that he voted for Trump — a tactical decision, he explained. “We need things that we can use to promote the cause, and I think Donald Trump is a daily advertisement for that cause,” he said, noting that his vote didn't matter much in California, anyway.
When it comes to Marinelli's thoughts on the other president in his life, Putin, he keeps his cards closer to his chest. He said he doesn't have an emotional connection to Russia in the same way he does the United States, which is actually “a great thing” about living in Yekaterinburg.
Back home, he said, he was often frustrated by what he saw as America's failings.
“I think every country has progress to make on some fronts. People say, for example, that Russia has progress to make when it comes to civil rights and human rights,” he said. “And the United States doesn't? In Russia, police aren't shooting people because of their skin color. There's pros and cons.”
Their efforts to divide and conquer us are ubiquitous and transparent. This one is a real long shot for them, but after Trump you never know. Their real focus right now is on sponsoring Le Pen and furthering their effort to break up the EU. Plus using Trump's own hostility to Europe as a wedge to prise apart NATO.
America without California would be crippled, its technological edge gone, mired in populist stupidity, far less educated than other developed countries, and in grip of a Republican electorate that is suddenly pro-Putin.
Jobbik's Jewish and Russian Roots and Current Connections
Christopher Jon Bjerknes
Jobbik leader Csanad Szegedi famously discovered his jewish roots and then moved to Israel to combat "anti-semitism":
Caroline Mortimer, "Former 'anti-Semitic politician' from Hungary moves to Israel after discovering he's Jewish", The Independent, (23 September 2016).
Jobbik leader Krisztina Morvai ridiculed the size of jewish penises at the same time she was married to jew Gyorgy Balo:
Political Pest, "Please accept our apologies for somehow never mentioning that Hungary's terrifying new "Nazi" leader is happily married to a Jew", politics.hu, (3 June 2009).
Jobbik leader Gabor Vona has been making increasingly kind overtures to Hungarian jews:
Lili Bayer, "Exclusive: In First Talk With Jewish Media, Hungary's Far Right Leader Strikes A New Pose", The Forward, (8 February 2017).
Jobbik is pan-Turianist, which mythology invites Turks into Europe and which mythology was created and promoted by an Hungarian jew and a Doenmeh crypto-jew. The Times History of the War, Printing House Square, London, Volume 14, (1918), p. 308, states,
"The author of the standard exposition of the 'Pan-Turanian Movement,' who called himself by the pure Turkish name of 'Tekin Alp,' is believed to have been a Salonika Jew; and there is also reason to suppose that the secularizing, anti-Islamic tendency which is so remarkable a feature in Pan-Turanianism was partly the effect of this Jewish influence."
The Hungarian jew Arminius Vambery, who created the "Pan-Turkic" movement that led to the First World War and which is agitating for a Third World War, wrote an autobiography in 1884, which is available online for free:
Arminius Vambery, Arminius Vambery: His Life and Adventures: Written by Himself: With Portrait and Illustrations, T. Fisher Unwin, London, (1884).
It appears that Jobbik was first created by the KGB and they have run it ever since. Brandon Martinez sent me two links which describe these facts:
"The man reportedly known as K.G.Béla to colleagues in Hungary's Jobbik party has consistently denied spying for Russia since the Hungarian government charged him with treason in May. However the revelation that his Russian wife Svetlana Istoshina is married to several influential figures including a Japanese nuclear physicist and an Austrian career criminal with links to the Soviet secret services, suggests that she was a KGB running agent, who caught Kovács in a "honey trap" for almost three decades. [***] There is growing evidence that Putin has backed Jobbik from its infancy, as the Russian leader seeks to undermine the EU — its main regional rival — with the help of far-right parties in former socialist states. One former member of the Hungarian national security committee has called Jobbik "a phony nationalist party that merely serves Russian interests."--Daniel Nolan and Csaba T. Tóth, "The Far-Right European Lawmaker and the Three-Decade 'KGB Honey Trap'", Vice, (26 September 2014).
This article describes Jobbik's affiliation with anti-White and anti-West fanatic Alexander Dugin:
Anton Shekhovtsov, "The Kremlin's marriage of convenience with the European far right", (28 April 2014 ).
Russia’s president destroyed video of himself having sex with children, an ex-KGB spy claimed. Now a British inquiry has found that the Kremlin leader ‘probably approved’ assassinating him for it.
LONDON — A prominent Russian dissident was assassinated in London with a deadly dose of radioactive poison because he had claimed that Vladimir Putin was a pedophile, according to an independent British inquiry.
The hit was “probably” carried out on the personal orders of the Russian president.
The allegation—that Putin had used his position as head of the Russian intelligence service to destroy video evidence of himself having sex with underage boys—was “the climax” of an increasingly bitter personal feud between Alexander Litvinenko and the Kremlin leader.
Sir Robert Owen, a retired High Court judge, found that this personal animosity, combined with Litvinenko’s continued criticism of the Kremlin and the FSB, of which he was once a senior member, was the motive behind his brazen murder in a Mayfair hotel via a pot of green tea laced with the radioactive isotope polonium-210 in November 2006.
“The FSB operation to kill Mr. Litvinenko was probably approved by Mr. Patrrushev, then head of the FSB, and also by President Putin,” Owen told the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday.
“There was undoubtedly a personal dimension to the antagonism between Mr. Litvinenko on the one hand and President Putin on the other,” he wrote in his report. “Mr. Litvinenko made repeated highly personal attacks on President Putin culminating in the allegation of pedophillia in July 2006.”
The claim was made in an article on the Chechen separatist website Chechenpress shortly after Putin was filmed lifting the T-shirt and kissing the stomach of a young boy at the Kremlin.
Litvinenko claimed this display of affection was the first public sign of a secret that had long been known by some within the KGB. He said Putin had been denied a place in the foreign intelligence division as a young recruit “because, shortly before his graduation, his bosses learned that Putin was a pedophile.”
“Many years later, when Putin became the FSB director and was preparing for the presidency, he began to seek and destroy any compromising materials,” Litvinenko wrote. “Among other things, Putin found videotapes in the FSB Internal Security directorate, which showed him making sex with some underage boys.”
Thursday’s announcement has been 10 years in the making. The British government rebuffed Marina Litvinenko’s pleas for an inquiry into her husband’s assassination for eight years because diplomats feared that London’s improving relationship with Moscow would be severely damaged.
A secret letter written to Owen by the Home Secretary Theresa May in 2013 explained why no inquest had been allowed. “It is true that international relations have been a factor in the government’s decision-making,” she admitted.
The government would change its mind a year later, when Russia’s conflict with Ukraine and the shooting down of passenger jet MH17 ended diplomatic niceties.
The explosive conclusion of the report will do little to calm relations between the nations, even though Owen stops short of saying he has conclusive proof that Putin ordered the hit directly.
The inquiry heard that two Russians, Andrei Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun, carried out the killing a few yards from the U.S. embassy in London by pouring polonium-210 into a pot of tea they offered to the former Russian spy.
Neither man still worked for the Russian state directly—Lugovoy had left the FSB and Kovtun was no longer employed by the Army. But Owen quoted an old Russian saying in his 300-page report: “There is no such thing as a former KGB man.”
On day 22 of the inquiry, when ample evidence had already been heard that Lugovoy was behind the killing, President Putin gave him a national award “for services to the fatherland.”
Owen wrote: “Mr. Lugovoy’s award, given in particular its timing and public nature, can only be interpreted as a deliberate sign of public support made by President Putin... It can be inferred from these facts that the Russian State approves of Mr. Litvinenko’s killing.”
On Thursday, Marina Litvinenko spoke on the steps of the court to welcome the verdict. “I am of course very pleased that the words my husband spoke on his deathbed when he accused Mr. Putin have been proved by an English court.”
But she was less complimentary about the British government, which has been briefing journalists that it will not levy severe sanctions against Moscow at such a sensitive time in negotiations over the future of Syria, ISIS, and President Bashar al-Assad.
The widow wants a British version of the Magnitsky Act, which President Obama signed in 2012 imposing sanctions against the killers of Sergei Magnitsky.
“I’m also calling for the imposing of targeted economic sanctions and travel bans against named individuals... including Mr. Putin,” she said. “It is unthinkable that the prime minister would do nothing in the face of the damning findings of Sir Robert Owen.”
The British government announced Thursday that it would freeze the assets of Lugovoy and Kovtun and issue international arrest warrants, even though Russia has made it clear the men will not be extradited.
For a litany of reasons, Alexander Litvinenko was not a popular man in Moscow. As he lay in ward T16 at University College Hospital on Nov. 18, 2006, two Scotland Yard detectives on the graveyard shift were about to discover why.
The pale patient, who was experiencing excruciating but unexplained pains, had been booked into the hospital as Edwin Redwald Carter. After two weeks at a smaller hospital in North London, he had been moved to the city’s top medical facility by doctors who could not work out what had made him so sick.
His symptoms were consistent with radiation poisoning, but Geiger counters showed no sign of radiation. As his condition worsened, thalium was another suspected cause, but no trace was found.
Clueless as to what substance was gradually destroying his body from the inside, “Edwin Carter” and his wife were increasingly convinced that he had been poisoned. They called in the police.
Detective Inspector Brent Hyatt and Detective Sergeant Chris Hoar arrived at around midnight to ask why they thought poison had been used. They were stunned by what they were about to hear.
“In Russian, I have [another] name: Alexander Litvinenko,” Carter began, in faltering English. “I am former KGB, FSB officer.
“1997, I sent to top secret department of KGB my, my department has duty killing... political and high business men without verdict—judge verdict.”
He said the first target of these extrajudicial killings was to be Boris Berezovsky—a fallen ally of Putin.
“After I, I had this order, I said to my boss, ‘I’m, I refuse take this.... It’s not right, is not justice.’”
And so began Litvinenko’s post-FSB career, which included a series of lurid claims about Russia’s mafia state. Once he had escaped Russia and was granted political asylum in Britain in 2001, he claimed the KGB and the FSB had been run through with corruption, accused it of murders, kidnappings, and drug-dealing and, most extraordinarily of all, staging a false-flag terror operation in Moscow.
He alleged that the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings, which killed some 300 people, were masterminded by Russian security forces in order to justify a full-scale war against Chechnya and bolster the popularity of a young, hardline prime minister named Vladimir Putin.
Litvinenko was paid $2,800 a month as an informant for MI6—Britain’s foreign intelligence service. He also took a salary from Berezovsky, the man he says he was once ordered to murder. The oligarch had also fled Russia and was granted asylum in the U.K. in 2003.
Berezovsky, who was found hanged in March 2013, paid Litvinenko to help him research and write articles and publications that were critical of Putin. Litvinenko also offered himself for hire to private intelligence companies, and the inquiry heard that he had been working for the Spanish authorities, who were trying to crack down on Russian crime syndicates operating there.
In the spring of 2006, Litvinenko met the famous activist journalist Anna Politkovskaya in a coffee shop in London. He asked her to leave Russia and continue to fight against Putin’s regime from outside the country.
She decided to stay in Moscow and was shot dead in the elevator inside her apartment block on Oct. 7. In the following weeks, Litvinenko told a gathering at the Frontline Club, a foreign correspondents’ association in London, that Putin had ordered her assassination.
A month later, he was gravely ill and recounting his own extraordinary tale to a pair of confused Scotland Yard detectives.
The inquiry heard several theories about who had ordered two former Russian agents to strike him down in what was described as “a nuclear attack on the streets” of London. In one theory, he was silenced before he could publicly describe links between Spanish criminal networks and senior Russian officials.
The inquiry also heard that Litvinenko had written a report that claimed that Viktor Ivanov, the head of Russia’s narcotics agency, had links to the Russian mafia and was engaged in drug trafficking and money laundering while working closely with Putin in St. Petersburg in the 1990s.
Litvinenko himself seemed relatively unconcerned about which one of his public statements had ultimately cost him his life.
He told the detectives at his bedside: “I have no doubt whatsoever that this was done by the Russian Secret Services. Having knowledge of the system, I know that the order about such a killing of a citizen of another country on its territory, especially if it is something to do with Great Britain, could have been given by only one person.”
Detective Inspector Hyatt: “Would you like to tell us who that person is, sir?”
“That person is the president of the Russian Federation: Vladimir Putin,” Litvinenko replied.
Thanks to a radioactive breadcrumb trail that led all the way back to Moscow, the manner in which he was murdered also became obvious in the end.
As Litvinenko’s condition deteriorated, doctors decided to send a sample of his urine to the U.K. Atomic Weapons Establishment to see if they could detect any radioactivity. There, scientists discovered massive alpha radiation—the substance emitted by polonium-210, which would have been undetectable by medical staff, pathologists, or law enforcement.
Once the nuclear scientists had discovered its presence, it was easy to retrace the steps of Lugovoy and Kovtun.