The Great Game, an expression that Kipling popularized in Kim, referred to a reality that was not literary at all: the formidable struggle in the dark, that is, through their intelligence services , that the Russian Empire and the British Empire undertook in the 19th century for the Asian control. In this shadow combat, which so fascinated Borges, not only murder and bribery fit, along with other ignoble arts typical of the genre. It will also have its place, and not to a lesser extent, an extraordinary weapon, with a happy future: disinformation and propaganda.. This same thing that we know today through fake news, but that perhaps had its first success in the libels and libelous engravings of the Protestant Reformation (Holbein and Cranach were a crucial help for Luther), is what Vicente Valles exposes, between erudition and vertigo, in this work whose subtitle indicates the underlying issue, the West in the hands of Putin.
An issue that concerns, as we know, not only the Trump campaign , the Brexit elections or theCatalan referendum , but also involves a thorough discrediting of Western democracies ; and specifically, of the EU, whose dissolution is being pursued. The silhouette that is drawn behind this overwhelming collection of data and corpses is the silhouette of an autocrat,Vladimir Putin , whose power spreads and intrudes on Western life with the efficiency of a plague.
With which, it is inevitable to remember here two books, closely related to this matter: the first, The Myth of the World Jewish Conspiracy, a myth that would find such success in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s , but whose origin must be sought in the profound anti-Semitism of the Russia of Alexander III and Nicholas II, and in the operations of the Okhrana, the Russian secret service, in nineteenth-century Paris. And a second, more recent work, Sonambulos by the Australian historian Christopher Clark, where the intense erosive work of the Russian empire is specified, as an instigating agent of Balkan nationalism.(mainly Serbian nationalism), and consequently, its decisive role in the beginning of the Great War.
It is, therefore, the continuation of the Great Game, the search for geopolitical dominance by a great power ; and specifically, of the actions promoted (always supposedly, of course), by Putin’s Russia. In this sense, the title of this investigation, narrated as a distressing police novel , does not contain any exaggeration. The trail of dead Russians is, strictly speaking, a striking trail of natural deaths and mysterious attacks that induce, at least, a reasoned and reasonable doubt.
To this must be added the bulky presence of Russian mafias, as well as the abrupt flourishing of tycoons and commission agents after the fall of the Wall. The episodes in which the Spanish Justice and the CNI are involved in this merciless struggle, which includes a villa in Sotogrande, polonium 210 poisoning and a good number of suicides, are particularly interesting (because they affect us more immediately) . strangely timed.
North American interference in Russian politics should also be recorded here, and Valles does so, without forgetting that we are facing the visible vestiges of a vast underground architecture, on which the new world is being built: a world that includes as an actor main to China (recall the constant warnings of the writer Henning Mankel about thesilent colonization of East Africa by the Chinese government ); which seems to have inclined Russia to focus its interests, as then, on its western neighbors and the Middle East.
Is Vladimir Putin the instigator of such actions, aimed both at his personal benefit and at an uneasy dominance in Eurasia
Is Trump the man chosen, the man secretly promoted by the Kremlin, to defuse the old American hostility towards Russian foreign policy
what you read in these pages you can deduce a positive answer. But also, and this is no longer mere speculation, the existence of an submerged and dying war, the war of the intelligence services, where the very survival of the countries is at stake. In the case of Europe, its democratic survival. And this against the most subtle and phantasmagorical of enemies: propaganda, ideological seduction, the distortion of reality, brilliantly deformed, to propitiate the change of reality itself.

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