Daily Archives: February 2, 2009

February 4, 2009 — Contents

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 4 CONTENTS

(1)  EDITORIAL:  XOXO, Vladimir Putin

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Kozlovsky’s Army, Under Siege

(3)  Lawyers under Siege in Putin’s Russia

(4)  A Postcard from the Gas Wars

(5)  Putin’s Solution for Senior Citizens

EDITORIAL: XOXO, Vladimir Putin

EDITORIAL

XOXO, Vladimir Putin

A new president has been elected in the United States, bringing with him the possibilty for a new relationship with Russia. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has spoken of a “new era of cooperation.”  Talk is cheap, however, and Russian talk is found in the K-mart of talk.  Recent days have shown just how interested Vladimir Putin’s Russia is in forming such a relationship based on deeds.  The response of the Putin regime has been to:

  • sign a cooperation pact with American’s arch enemy, Cuba
  • announce its intention to build a naval base in Abkhazia
  • pressure Kyrgyzstan to eject an American base
  • ban shipments of U.S. pork
  • cancel an order for Boeing airliners
  • spurn U.S. mortgage debt
  • aggressively seek to achieve natural gas hegemony
  • just as aggressively seek imperial domination of the Arctic
  • remain silent on the murder of Stanislav Markelov
  • viciously gloat over American economic fortunes at Davos
  • savagely attack American Michael Dell
  • bizarrely tease the U.S. over the Kaliningrad missile installation

Are these the indications of a nation that wants to turn over a new leaf with the United States?  Can anyone make a similar list of provocative American actions taken just after Dmitri Medvedev “succeeded” to the Russian presidency? Has America, for that matter, been sending nuclear bombers to buzz Russian military installations, as Russia is doing to the U.S.?

This man Putin is a crazed lunatic, no different from the most diseased rulers of the USSR, driving his nation to ruin by provoking the world’s most powerful nation for no earthly reason except blind hatred, just as they did.

And that’s all we’ve got to say about that.

EDITORIAL: Kozlovsky’s Army Under Siege

EDITORIAL

Kozlovsky’s Army Under Siege

“I was furious when I heard Putin speaking fairy tales in Davos about how our economy is under control. It is my duty to stand up for my rights. I want to live in a good place. I want my children to grow up in a free country, not a gulag.”

– Yevgeny Antipov, a 21-year-old student in Vladivostok last weekend, insisting that he was not afraid to be marching against the government for the first time.

A Putin supporter makes the only argument he can in favor of his Master. The young lady is probably not convinced.  Are you?

A Putin supporter makes the only argument he can in favor of his Master. The young lady is probably not convinced. Are you?

Does U.S. President Barack Obama ever intend to speak out on the oppression of basic democratic and liberal values in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, values he supposedly holds dear? Or are Obama’s pretty words just that, and nothing more?

Oleg Kozlovsky and his opposition organization Oborona (“Defense”) continue to face outrageous harassment from the barbaric band of thugs who run the Moscow Kremlin.  Obama continues his repugnant, cowardly silence.  We fear that those who told us to trust that Obama would act once he took power were seriously misled.

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Lawyers Under Siege in Putin’s Russia

Business Week reports:

Now it is the Russian lawyers’ turn.

Scores of journalists and businessmen have suffered beatings, harassment, and even assassination in Russia’s sometimes anarchic society. With the brazen daytime murder of human rights attorney Stanislav Markelov on Jan. 19, it became clear that members of the Russian bar are also targets in the murky vendettas that taint commerce and politics in Moscow and throughout the country.

It is not just lawyers alleging human rights abuses who are vulnerable. Corporate lawyers, too, face increasing threats. “It is now impossible in Russia to defend a client who is in a politically motivated case or in a [commercial] case where the other side has a lot of money and is willing to play dirty,” says Jamison R. Firestone, managing partner of Firestone Duncan, an American corporate law firm in Moscow. “At worst, you will end up in prison, in exile, or dead,” he adds.

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A Postcard from the Gas Wars

“The technical state of Ukraine’s gas transmission system is now in such a condition that it cannot circulate. In such a case it needs to be frankly told about. One must figure out whether Ukraine’s gas-supply system is capable of circulating gas at all”

–V.Putin, January, 13th

Ukrainian Blogger Dmitri Korneychuk over at the brand new UA-RU News explains how Gazprom is “playing cat-and-mouse games” with the Ukrainian gas transit system.  Our commenter “Elmer” states:

If you want to see an absolutely excellent explanation of how the Russians tried to trick Europe into believing that Ukraine was not capable of transiting gas, read Korneychuk. The English is a little rough, but very understandable. This guy knows what he is talking about. Recall that Ukraine’s pipeline had been used for years to transit gas through to Europe. After Russia cut off the gas, the Kremlin/Gazprom decided to send a “test” volume – a very low amount. Why a “test” was necessary is, of course, anyone’s guess – except that in Russia, they knew full well the trick they were about to play. It is a fascinating read.

Here’s the text (with some slight English editing and formatting on our part):

Playing Cat & Mouse with Gazprom

One should pay a tribute to Messrs. Medvedev and Putin – unlike our politicians, they do not begrudge the time for the detailed conversations with the technical specialists of Gazprom, entering into all the details of gas transportation. That’s why they have prepared a trump card in advance – an export gas-feeding procedure into the Ukrainian gas transmission network under which the Ukrainians themselves would refuse to pump this fuel, in such a way once again proving their transit insecurity to Europeans. The “pseudotransit” operation was put across masterfully and with impunity by Kremlin on January 13th . And when some of the Europeans took Ukraine’s side, they had their mouth stuffed with a gas ‘carrot’.

A technical mousetrap

Thus, on January 13th at 1:00 a.m. Gazprom demanded from Neftegaz to deliver 76.6 mln cubic meters of gas to the Balkans and Macedonia as a test pump. The route was from the ‘Sudzha’ gas pumping station to the ‘Orlovka’ gas pumping station, where the European watch committee was waiting, ready to monitor the transit process. Moscow opened its taps at 9:00 a.m.

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Putin’s Solution for Senior Citizens

The fate of the aged in Putin's Russia

The fate of the aged in Putin's Russia

The Associated Press reports:

A nursing home fire in northwestern Russia killed at least 23 people Saturday, and officials said local authorities were slow to report the blaze.

The fire in the town of Podyelsk in the Komi region followed similar recent deadly fires at other nursing homes across the country, underscoring the negligence, mismanagement, corruption and decaying infrastructure that has plagued Russia.

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