The 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi aren’t the only platform for Russian President Vladimir Putin to assert himself on the international stage. He is reportedly planning to preside over a major Moscow conference in September sponsored by the World Congress of Families, a pro-family coalition that includes several high-profile American conservative organizations.
Putin, who is recently divorced and is said to have a mistress, will present himself as a defender of the Christian faith and Christian values, in contrast to the decline and decadence of the West. He is counting on conservatives in attendance to ignore the fact that he was a Soviet KGB officer and ran its successor, the FSB. One of the main specialties of the Soviet/Russian intelligence services is propaganda and disinformation.
The event, to be partly financed by Putin crony Vladimir Yakunin, will be held in the Kremlin, the Duma (the Russian parliament), Lomonosov Moscow State University, and the Christ The Savior Cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church.
U.S. vs. Christians
The Times of London reported Thursday that “the West and Gulf states are funding a new military offensive by rebel forces around Damascus in an effort to throw the Assad regime on to the back foot before a second round of Syria peace talks. The assault marks an attempt by the Free Syrian Army and its allies abroad to reassert control after months of rebel infighting.” The chief victim of this funding, however, may not be Bashar Assad, but the nation’s Christians.
The report notes that the Obama government “has established a training base for the FSA, say rebel field commanders. It includes $57 million in cash to pay the rebels.” The U.S. is also supplying weapons: “late last month, the US approved a supply of a big shipment of arms to rebels in Jordan.” This aid is supposed to go to the “moderates” of the Free Syrian Army in order to help them counter Syrian rebel forces that are aligned with al Qaeda.