Russia's Rogozin Calls for a Policy of an "Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove"
February 29, 2012 • 9:12AM

Deputy Prime Minister for the Defense Industry, Dmitri Rogozin, advocated the use of an "iron fist in a velvet glove" policy to defend Russia's security interests, and stressed that the velvet glove must be removed quickly if such need arises, according to a Feb. 27 report on Russia Today, the English-language news network. Rogozin was speaking at the founding convention of a new movement in support of the military and the defense industry, which met with over 3,700 participants. The meeting received a message of support from Prime Minister and Presidential candidate Vladimir Putin, and it was addressed by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, who said that "the strengthening of the nation's defense must be accompanied by the thoughts about spiritual development of those who would possibly defend their Motherland from enemies in the future." Such a new man, Kirill elaborated, has to be capable of resisting information aggression launched from abroad against Russia, especially through the Internet.

Rogozin's speech echoed many of the themes presented by Putin in his recent Moskovskiye Novosti article — which, predictably, triggered an outpouring of venom from British outlets such as the Financial Times, which mischaracterized the Putin article as a "tirade against the U.S." based on "his slightly conspiratorial vision of international relations." Rogozin called for strengthening both "brute physical force," according to Russia Today, along with developing new ways of fighting. He warned against underestimating the enemy, although he didn't name that enemy, according to the RT account.