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US uncovers the Soviet agent that aims to get trillions of dollars
U.S. Republican senators have uncovered a secret Soviet agent sent to the United States back in 1991 to undermine the banking system there. This is the conclusion that can be drawn from the media buzz. It followed the Senate Banking Committee’s questioning of Professor Saule Omarova, Joe Biden's nominee for the top position in the U.S. Government Accountability Office, last week.
The video footage of Senator John F. Kennedy urging Omarova to answer questions about her involvement in the mysterious Soviet Komsomol organization and whether she had written a letter of resignation from it has been vividly discussed in Russia. We do know what Komsomol is, so we only laugh at the very wording of the question. But the American social networks have been buzzing about the brilliant operation that uncovered the sleeper agent. The New American even told its readers that Omarova "was a high-ranking member of the Komsomol, the youth organization of the Communist Party; its mission was to train future party leaders under the supervision of the KGB."
Here it should be made clear that Omarova, a native of Kazakhstan, was never in the leadership of the Komsomol. Americans refer to an article in the British newspaper Daily Mail. but it merely states that as a child she was "a leader of the Komsomol organization at school". To prove their point, the British posted several photos of Omarova posing in a young pioneer scarf and with a Komsomol badge. Well, the "connection to the KGB" can be noticed right away.
She moved to the United States in 1991, when she was 25 years old. There she made an academic career berating the Soviet Union, Stalin, and communism from time to time. And apparently, she has never been a Russian citizen either - at least, there is no such information anywhere. She also refused citizenship of Kazakhstan having received a USA passport. This does not prevent many American websites and bloggers from writing about her as "Russian" or "born in Russia".
It should be noted that while questioning Omarova Senator Kennedy stressed several times that she had been a member of the "Leninist Communist Youth Union of the Russian Federation". He did not say of the Soviet Union or Kazakhstan, but of the Russian Federation, which she had and has nothing to do with. And this is perhaps the key point of the "accusation" against the uncovered "Soviet agent". It is not her alleged "communist" views that make Americans concerned the most, but rather the fact that she is "Russian". And to them, we are all the same. Some social networks claim that Omarova's last name is Russian (because it ends in -ova). And others believe that the combination of the Arabic name Omar and the Russian ending -ova is impossible, so here is the proof of the fabricated surname of the undercover agent.
All of the above really looks ridiculous to our readers. But it is clear evidence of the political Russophobia that prevails in the United State.
This gross attack on Omarova is in the best traditions of McCarthyism. Of course, it is Republicans' revenge on Democrats for all the years when the latter fueled faked news about the Trump-Kremlin ties and described the Republican Party as Russian agents. Suffice it to recall that Kennedy himself was repeatedly called that after he had visited Moscow in 2018. So now this is his response to the Democrats and the way to displace his anger on their candidate.
However, it is not even about the reasons for the campaign against Omarova but about the arguments, which do not seem extraordinary to anyone and are used by all sides. For example, while commenting on the Senate hearings, well-known American columnist and expert Eli Lake wonders: "I can't believe Republicans are accusing their opponents of being more loyal to Russia." As you can see, this is about Russia after all. The only thing that surprises Democrats is that their anti-Russian rhetoric pays back to them.
After all, we should not forget that both of the greatest waves of political repression in the United States (the First Red Scare of 1919-20 and the McCarthyism of the 1950s) were also justified by the struggle against communist ideology but were in fact reduced to mere Russophobia. Police raided cultural centers that taught the diaspora the Russian language. Russian natives were deported from the United States, and no one really cared what ethnicity they belonged to: they were always referred to as Russians. For example, the government's political opponents were deported on a ship called the Red Ark in 1919. The vast majority of those opponents were ethnic Jews, and many of them were born in Poland. However, they were still Russians to the American press. Back then, Russophobic hysteria even got so bad that some areas of the United States prohibited the sale of land to settlers with mustaches as it was believed to be an essential attribute of Russians.
When it comes to this point, today's America has not run far from the America of a century ago and is even trying to go even further. Maria Butina, who had served time in a U.S. prison on ridiculous charges of "conspiracy against the United States," was fully convinced of this. She wrote the memoirs about her American trials and tribulations and recalled her attorney's words: "The level of Russophobia in America reached such a level that not only was it dangerous to touch anything Russian but even ordering borscht in a restaurant could be a sign of falling under the influence of the Kremlin with all that it entailed."
While all of the American media has paid attention to the hate campaign against Omarova for her Komsomol youth, there is an attempt to ignore the news about the forced closure of the Russian Community Council of the USA (KSORS) due to the persecution of its activists. And the latter case involves the FBI that has carried out searches and interrogations of "at least three hundred Russian compatriots in the United States, including students and retirees." There are efforts to make them being charged under the same articles that Butina was convicted for - violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act known as FARA.
Russian liberals traditionally criticize Russian authorities on "foreign agents" restrictions. Meanwhile, talking about Maria Butina's case, they object that Maria is not a US citizen, and "foreign agents" restriction works towards Russian organizations and individuals. So, most of our compatriots united under the KSORS system are U.S. citizens of Russian origin, and some of them are not the first generation of Americans. And if they are found to be foreign agents, they face criminal penalties (as opposed to the much more humane sanctions that Russia uses).
So, what are our compatriots accused of? Some of them even had to leave the United States after the searches (just like a hundred years ago). After all, it is enough to look at the website of the American KSORS to be convinced: this organization is mainly engaged in cultural and historical activities: it teaches the diaspora the native language, holds literary readings, folklore concerts, and historical conferences.
But various speakers officially funded by the U.S. budget to promote the ideology of Washington explain to us what our compatriots' fault: "The leadership of the KSORS has been promoting a pro-Kremlin agenda since 2014-2015." It turns out to be forbidden. Even "arranging petitions to the U.S. authorities to restore the dialogue with the Kremlin" or calling for the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions are considered to be such activity that interferes with politics.
This is a curious approach. What do national diasporas usually do abroad? They establish a dialogue between their state and their country of origin, don't they? For example, having opened the website of the Ukrainian diaspora in the United States, one can immediately see that it is predominantly political. They raise funds for the Stop Nord Stream 2 campaign, participate in the anti-Russian Crimea Platform, and demand new sanctions against Russia. These are their main activities.
In other words, any diaspora in America can engage in political agitation, as long as this agitation is directed against the Russian state but to support it is not allowed. In this case, you will be labeled as a "foreign agent" and the FBI will be sent to you for a search. The main thing to keep in mind the country to be accused of political repressions.
The examples of hate campaign against Omarova and legal persecution of American citizens of Russian origin are a good lesson for those of our fellow citizens who still believe that they can come to the West, assimilate there, make a good career, and blend in. As you can see, at any moment you can be blamed for your surname ending with -ov or -ova, your Komsomol past, your St. George ribbon on Victory Day, Russian or Ukrainian (whatever you like) borscht, "too Russian" moustache or beard.
And this is not about the United States alone. For example, Britain has repeatedly proved that former Russian oligarchs turn into former KGB agents or current Kremlin agents at the right time. And it doesn't really matter how hard they try to deny their Moscow past and support the anti-Russian agenda. They do not blend in anyway because political Russophobia requires searching for enemies not only by political views but also by ethnicity, origin, language, surname, and even by a red pioneer scarf on an old child's photo.