Knowing one’s history helps avoid repeating errors made in the past and thus makes one better able to control the present and better take one’s country in a chosen direction.
The Russians, inventors of the Potemkin village, under Stalin wrote a Potemkin past for themselves themselves and therefore lost track of the present, leading to the creation and eventual collapse of one of the most evil societies the world has seen.
Lilliputin and his Teddy Bear are, of course, apples off the same tree. So what better way to get Russia off its knees and back right at the bottom of the ditch where it has been for most of its history than by re-writing recent history instead of getting down to some real thinking!
Russia Exposed as the Black Sheep of BRIC
Russia as Black Sheep
A devastating new study by the Frontier Strategy Group reveals that a large cross section of international investors has rejected Russia when comparing it with the other members of the so-called “BRIC” group. Nearly twice as many investors in the group thought Brazil would be a “top-3″ investing opportunity in the next three years as thought Russia would be, and China and India were right behind Brazil. Russia’s level of support as a top-3 candidate was rivaled by the likes of Columbia and Thailand and bested by tiny, backward Vietnam. Russia was also soundly thrashed by Mexico. “It was incredibly surprising to us how quickly people had abandoned Russia,” said Alex Turkeltaub, Frontier Strategy Group’s chairman, to the Wall Street Journal.
This was hardly the kind of news Russian “president” Dima Medvedev was looking for when he attended the BRIC summit last week.
IKEA and the Russian Jackals
The story of IKEA’s foolhardy entry into the Russian market is a cautionary tale for any Western business, and the moral of the story is simple: Don’t do it! We must confess, we take some pleasure in watching the zebra-like carcass of IKEA being ripped apart and devoured by the Russian jackals. It’s a fate the company richly deserves for playing its part in supporting the Putin dictatorship. Sensible consumers should buy their furniture elsewhere.
Masha Lipman of the Carnegie Center, writing in the Washington Post:
The Russian government has intensified its attempts to perfect the nation’s past. The Defense Ministry posted an academic article on its Web site arguing that Hitler’s territorial claims on Poland were “moderate” and “can hardly be referred to as unsubstantiated.” After Poland rejected these claims, seeking “to gain a great power status,” the article went on, it was only natural that Germany would attack — starting World War II. When the article became the subject of news coverage, sparking discussion at home and abroad, it was removed from the site.
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir? Me SO horny!
If you know that “Russian” Maria Sharapova (she lives and pays taxes in America, not Russia) is currently ranked #59 in the world, then it will probably surprise you to learn that she received the #24 seed in the ladies draw at Wimbledon this year. Not the bottom seed of #32, mind you, but #24.
Why did she receive this generous gift?
Well, the tournament organizers were quite shameless in explaining. They’re desperate to create some kind of interest in their event: “Her presence can do nothing other than provide a huge boost to the women’s field at The Championships.” That’s a pretty sad commentary on the state of women’s tennis, but it’s quite true.
The Russian Market back in Freefall
The Russian RTS stock index
Last Thursday by 5 pm Moscow time the dollar-denominated RTS stock index had lost nearly 4% of its value and fallen back below the critical 1,000-point psychological barrier which it had broken back above at the end of May. The market hadn’t seen 1,000 since October 2008. The decline put the RTS index down almost 15% for the month of June, and the MICEX ruble-denominated index was down even more for the month, almost 17%, and itself was flirting with crashing through the 1,000-point barrier.
Russian “president” Dima Medvedev was humiliated as the world learned while he was attending a BRIC summit the dollar=denominated bonds were vigorously out-performing the bonds of Brazil, Russia, India and China. Financial analysts were mocking Medvedev’s goofy statements about Russia’s ruble becoming an international reserve currency: “It’s not up to politicians to determine which currency will be the world reserve currency,” said Lutz Karpowitz, a currency strategist at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “In the end the market decides it.” In fact, they were suggesting that Russia is the black sheep of the BRIC group itself and doesn’t belong there.
The reason for all this Russia failure and humiliation was quite simple.
Flying Russia’s Potemkin Skies
At the Paris Air Show last week, Russia’s Sukhoi aircraft manufacturing concern was able to secure only a pathetic total of three orders for its new “Superjet-100″ model, upon which the company has pinned all its future hopes. Looking below the surface, we see that the whole business was nothing but a pathetic charade, a classic Russian Potemkin village carried out to paper over the fact that there is, in the words of aeronautics experts “nothing new” about Russia’s plane. In fact, there were no legitimate offers at all for the Russian crate. Given Russia’s horrific record of air disasters, that’s hardly surprising.
Last week, the Russians were complaining that the Allied nations had forgotten to talk about Russia during their D-Day commemorations earlier this month, which Russia was not even invited to attend.
We agree with the Russians: Their behavior in World War II should not have been forgotten. It was so loathsome, vile and contemptible that it must be made to live in infamy right along with the cowardly Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.
The New York Times reports:
The killing was as baffling as it was vile.
A New York Times editorial brutally entitled “Small Minds in the Kremlin” (one of the world’s leading newspapers calling the rulers of Russia idiots — ouch!):
In a depressing sequel to its petty and destructive war against Georgia last summer, Russia has now cast a petty and destructive veto in the United Nations Security Council, compelling the abrupt withdrawal of 130 badly needed international military monitors from Georgia’s secessionist region of Abkhazia.
It was petty because Russia’s larger interest lies in calming, not stirring up, secessionist ambitions in the Caucasus, a violently fractured part of the world that includes other restive regions like Chechnya. And it was destructive because whatever hopes the Russian-backed Abkhazian separatists might still retain for a semblance of international legitimacy vanishes with the withdrawal of the United Nations mission.
SUNDAY JUNE 21 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Russia’s Lethal Profession
(2) EDITORIAL: A True Russian Patriot Speaks
(3) EDITORIAL: Russia’s Autonomous Jewish Fraud
(4) Muratov’s Acceptance Speech
(5) A Russian Lady Liberty
(6) THE MAILBAG: Poland and Neo-Soviet Russia
NOTE: Our issue today is dedicated to the people we respect and admire most in the world, Russians fighting for democracy (see item nos. 1, 2, 4 and 5). To them we can only say: “We’re not worthy!”
Russia’s Lethal Profession
Today we highlight the heroic efforts of the journalists at Novaya Gazeta as they struggle to preserve some vestiges of democracy and civil society in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. A recent report by the International Federation of Journalists reveals that all Russian journalists interested in telling the truth risk their lives every day they go to work. In light of the ongoing efforts of Putin’s Kremlin to shut down newspapers that don’t parrot the Kremlin line, it’s clear that we now face a fully realized neo-Soviet state.
A True Russian Patriot Speaks
Dmitri Muratov, Russian Patriot
When asked his dream, he answered: “To see no more of my reporters killed.”
When asked why he continues to risk his own life, he replied:
Because we think that a newspaper is a service provided to a fair people. Because I don’t want the world to think that my country is a country where the gene of Stalin will live forever. There is a question why today in official text books in Russia – on a number of official sites, including the ministry of defence – Mr Stalin is called ‘an efficient state manager’, when what they would like to say is that efficiency in management is the same as violence. Why would the ruling elite do that in Russia? What they probably mean to say, and what they try to make us believe, is that the state, the government, is the supreme value of our life, the sun, the god. And corruption is the special profession attached to this god.
When asked about the motivations of those who govern Russia, he answered bluntly: “They want to rule as Stalin did and live as Abramovich does.”
SPEECH OF DMITRY MURATOV
Editor-in-Chief, Novaya Gazeta, Moscow
Delivered at the Opening Ceremony of the IPI World Congress and 58th General Assembly upon being awarded the ‘IPI Free Media Pioneer 2009’
7 June 2009
This morning by the way, the shareholder of our newspaper, Mr Gorbachev called me. And Mr Gorbachev asked me to transfer best greetings to all of you. And I asked him back, Mr Gorbachev what do you think would be appropriate to say in the speech today. Mr Gorbachev replied that unfortunately you know yourself the answer to this question.
We are aware that this award is a tribute to Anna Politkovskaya, to Yuri Shchekochikhin, to Igor Domnikov, to Anastasia Baburova and to Stanislav Markelov. And this will be placed in our newspaper in front of their photos.
Some people accuse us of hating Russians, but in fact all the people we most idolize are Russians. We simply hate those who try to destroy those Russians, and the Russians who try to do are the most reprehensible of the lot.
On May 31, 2009, the Oborona opposition organization led by Oleg Kozlovsky carried out a protest march on Tverskaya Street in Moscow. The march was a response to Moscow City Hall’s illegal refusal to certify a rally at the city’s Triumphal Square in response to a legal application for permission to do so by the Other Russia coalition led by Garry Kasparov, of which Oborona is a part.
Oborona activists lit flares and unfurled banners calling for Putin to resign; they sought to block traffic on Tverskaya just as unpaid workers recently did in Pikalyovo outside of St. Petersburg. They were immediately attacked by OMON storm troopers and 30 members were arrested, including Kozlovsky himself.
After the jump, view photographs of the Oborona activists, including a young woman of rare beauty, being manhandled by the OMON thugs. We ask you: Who are the patriots, and who the traitors to Russia?
Letters, we get letters, we get lots of cards and letters every day!
Dear La Russophobe,
This letter is in response to the article “Russian military historian says Poland started WWII: Defense Ministry posts revisionist paper” put out by the Associated Press.
Nothing could be more absurd or further from the truth.
Putin in a Proper Pikalyovo
Vladimir Putin is nervous. Very nervous. Not only can’t he manage to call his counterpart from Ukraine by her correct name, or even by her Russianized name, or even by a female name, he called her by his name. Ouch. Shades of George W. Bush.
Why so nervous, Mr. Putin? Are you in a Pikalyovo?
He is indeed. The events two weeks ago in the “montown” of Pikalyovo outside of St. Petersburg betray the fundamental weakness of the Russian economy under dictator Putin, and the mismanagement by ham-handed proud KGB spies that created that weakness.
Russia Bloody Russia and the 2014 Games
Former Vice Premier Bashir Aushev.
RIP Ingushetia, June 13, 2009.
Supreme Court judge Aza Gazgireyeva.
RIP Ingushetia, June 10, 2009.
Interior Mininster Adilgerei Magomedtagirov.
RIP Dagestan, June 5, 2009.
In just the first two weeks of June, not just one or two but three high-ranking Caucasus government officials have been brutally shot and killed. It could not be more clear that, if he ever had it, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has lost control of the region where it proposes to hold the 2014 Olympic games, that the separatist activity that began in Chechnya has not only not been silenced, but is spreading like wildfire throughout the region, emboldened by Putin’s crazed decision to support separatism in Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Ron Paul, American Idiot
After Sacha Baron Cohen’s film “Borat” swept the country in 2006, it’s hard to imagine how any cave-dwelling cretin could remain unaware of his aggressive efforts to dupe moronic American political officials into sham interviews designed to make them look even more helplessly stupid than they actually are.
And yet, two years later, Cohen was able to arrange an interview with U.S. congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, in the guise of his latest vulgar character “Bruno.”
Paul Goble reports on the true horror of an “education” in neo-Soviet Russia:
A sociologist who for seven years had taught professional ethics to future interior ministry officers in Tyumen has been denounced by a court in that Siberian city for research he conducted concerning the extent to which students at his MVD academy used bribes to get into that institution or to receive higher grades.
Paul Goble reports on yet another spectacular, humiliating failure for the Putin regime:
After three years of effort, Moscow has succeeded in attracting the return of only 8800 of the more than 300,000 “compatriots” abroad whose resettlement in Russia it had counted on, an outcome that should not have surprised anyone familiar with Russian conditions or with poll results showing that many Russians would like to live abroad.
Vladimir Putin, Girly Man
Once again, LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld has proven her prescience. No sooner did she expose Vladimir Putin’s neo-Soviet crackdown on artists than the situation became even worse.