Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


Siloviki and the force of inertia

Today New York Times brings a story worthy of a spy-novel. It describes how elements within the Ukrainian Intelligence Service SBU shifted sides during the Orange Revolution and aided the opposition as to avoid a bloodshed. The so-called Siloviki were instrumental in avoiding that a mobilisation of the Interior Ministry Forces led to a Prague/Tianmen/Romanian crackdown and perhaps an ensuing civil war.

The Siloviki hold that they were motivated by the same feelings as the protesters. If it is so, that is very positive and interesting - as intelligence services are known for their non-political ethos. It takes a lot of courage to break with a system that supports you if you find out that it is rotten.

For that interpretation speaks the rhetorical force of inertia. It is always easier to defend the incumbent than promulgate the new. To break with this it is suggested that the arguments are strong.

However, it shouldn't be dismissed that the security-service now is sided with the winning faction. That will give both bodies an elevated status.


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