Tag Archives: nemtsov

EDITORIAL: Arresting Nemtsov

EDITORIAL

Arresting Nemtsov

Imagine that Sarah Palin is on her way to a Tea Party rally in Washington DC, to be held a few blocks from the White House.  She stops to autograph a copy of her new book Going Rogue for an adoring fan, and a swarm of FBI agents descends on her.  They grab her, rip open her shirt, manhandle her, stuff her into a waiting sedan and whisk her away, denying her the chance to utter a single word at the rally.  Her “crime”?  Intending to attend and speak at the rally against Obama and his policies.

Though we have little admiration for the followers of Barack Obama, we’re willing to bet that not a single one of them would support such an action. To the contrary, we feel sure they’d condemn it.  After all, such actions would be directly contrary to the fundamental principles of liberalism by which Obama is supposed to be governing the country. For sure, they’d flout the very fabric of the U.S. Constitution.

Yet, when exactly this same thing actually happened in Russia, to Boris Nemtsov last week, the adherents of Vladimir Putin did nothing but cheer.

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The Complete Nemtsov White Paper, Volume III

PUTIN: What 10 Years of Putin Have Brought

An independent expert report by
Vladimir Milov and Boris Nemtsov

Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel

Introduction

In February 2008, we published our report “Putin – The Results” [TN: translated by me as "Putin: The Bottom Line"]. It seemed to us back then that it was about time to review what he had brought about now that his presidential term was coming to an end. We assumed that the policies of his successor would differ in at least some ways from those of the previous incumbent. However, Putin continues to play a key role in Russian politics and the course which he followed for 8 years has barely changed.

A great deal has happened since 2008. Russia has plunged into a deep economic crisis. Instead of growing, the economy is contracting. A budget deficit has replaced a former surplus, millions have lost their jobs. Prices, utilities foremost among these, are rocketing. Meanwhile, the number of billionaires has doubled and social and inter-regional inequalities have worsened.

Official propaganda would have it that everything is still fine, the country has weathered the crisis, has conquered terrorism and is beating corruption, that we are proceeding by leaps and bounds along the road of innovation and modernisation, that we are respected around the world, that we are getting wealthier, that there is less poverty, that men and women are bringing forth children, and that “Russia dying out” was a thing of the wild nineties.

The purpose of this report is to tell the truth about what is happening in Russia, to dispel the myths put about by the powers that be, and to relate real information to our fellow-countrymen who for 10 years have not been getting that from the cheerful and frequently false information disseminated by the government-controlled TV and print media.

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Another Original LR Translation: Nemtsov Volume III, Part 4

EDITOR’S NOTE:  This is the fourth installment of our series from Dave Essel translating the latest issue of the Nemtsov White Paper condemning the Putin years.  The first installment is here, the second is here, the third is here, and the prior issues are here. Video of Nemtsov and Milov at the press release is here.

PUTIN: What 10 Years of Putin Have Brought

An independent expert report by
Vladimir Milov and Boris Nemtsov

Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel

CHAPTER FIVE: Oh Dear, the Roads!

We all know that the bad state of our roads roads is one of Russia’s major headaches.

In our first report on the results of Putin, we described in detail the degradation of the road infrastructure under his presidency. The very fact that the rate of road-building dropped during the “fat” years is a disgrace. China in just 20 years has built itself a modern highway network: in 1989 the Chinese had just 147 kilometres of motorway, today they have 60,000.

Meanwhile, in Russia the road-building industry is going down the drain.

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Nemtsov in the Wall Street Journal!

Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, writing in the Wall Street Journal:

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s apologists in the West like to suggest that, for all the shortcomings of his authoritarian regime, there is no viable alternative. Such a position is false and dangerous.

Those who accept the concentration of power and corruption under Mr. Putin are condemning Russia to backwardness, lawlessness, social and economic instability and, potentially, territorial disintegration. They are also condemning the world to continued unpredictable actions by the Kremlin’s unaccountable leaders.

This is not an outcome President Barack Obama or his advisers, who are in Moscow this week to “reset” relations between the U.S. and Russia, should want.

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EDITORIAL: Squirting Nemtsov

EDITORIAL

Squirting Nemtsov

It’s hard to recall a more pathetic news report issuing from Russia in recent years than last Monday’s, which indicated that former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov had been squirted in the face with ammonium chloride while campaigning for mayor of his native city of Sochi.

Seasoned Russia watchers will remember that Nemtsov’s career in the public eye began with a similar incident, when rogue nationalist maniac Vladimir Zhirinovsky splashed a glass of orange juice over him during a vehement exchange on a TV talk show debate. 

How is it possible, we must ask, that these apes are unable to understand that by lashing out with violence they are merely confirming that they have been defeated in the arena of civilized politics? How can they fail to understand that by lashing out with violence, they are merely confirming — better than their foes ever could — the worst of their foes criticisms?

Well, because they are apes, that’s why.

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Special Extra: Nemtsov Appeals to SPS Members

Yet more news of craven capitulation to dictatorship within Russia. The Moscow Times reports that the SPS political party founded by Boris Nemtsov, and from which he resigned shortly before publishing his White Paper attacking the Putin regime, is dissolving and surrendering to the Kremlin, with many of its members being absorbed into pro-Kremlin parties.  Other Russia reports that the party’s leader, Nikita Belykh, resigned in protest against this proposal last week, and publishes an open letter to the party written by Nemtsov and White Paper co-author Vladimir Milov:

Dear friends and compatriots!

As result of recent events, the Union of Right Forces (SPS) has ceased to exist as a democratic opposition party.

Nikita Belykh’s place as the leader of the party was a guarantee that the SPS continue acting as an independent, living organism; a structure capable of conducting an independent policy, and defending liberal democratic ideas and values. Nikita Belykh courageously fought for the party.

The Kremlin’s scare tactics against representatives of Russian business has rid the Russian opposition of sources of financing. On a massive scale, the SPS was taken off [of ballots] in regional elections, and ran into unprecedented administrative and police pressure, [including] the arrest of its activists.

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The Nemtsov White Paper, Part II: Gazprom (the full text)

Vladmir Putin: The Bottom Line

Part II – Gazprom

by Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Milov

Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel

(For the PDF version of this document, click here.)

Boris Nemtsov

Boris Nemtsov

In February 2008, the authors of the report you are now reading published an independent expert report Putin – The Bottom Line in which they presented their views on what the Russian Federation’s second president had done for Russia. In Putin – The Bottom Line we gave an unflattering but in our view fair evaluation, backed up by facts and figures, of the outcome of Vladimir Putin’s activities for the country – an outcome that is hidden from Russian eyes behind a smokescreen of official propaganda – in such fields as the economy, the army, the pension system, health and education, roads and highways, and others.

A good number of readers rightly pointed out that there was one problem which we had only partially covered – Russia’s energy situation in general and the issue of Gazprom, Russia’s main energy company, in particular. This was a deliberate omission on our part. We believe that the situation around Gazprom is worthy of individual attention and not something to be covered in just a few paragraphs.

This, firstly, is because Gazprom and what happens within it are of the utmost importance to our country. A second reason is because we have direct, first-hand knowledge of Gazprom’s problems because we were involved with it in our professional lives as former Russian minister of fuel and and energy and deputy minister of energy. Our last reason is that Gazprom has become a sort of personal special project of Putin’s: from the very beginning of his presidency he has carefully nurtured this corporation, appointed people close to him to key posts within it, and overseen its work in detail. Gazprom is one of only a few projects for which Putin can be considered to be personally responsible from the earliest days he was in power. One can, as a result, use it as a measure of the results of Putin’s doings.

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The Nemtsov White Paper, Part II (Section 3)

This is a the final installment in our serialization of the second part of the White Paper by Boris Nemtsov.  Part II deals exclusively with the Gazprom fuel monopoly. Section 1 was published last Friday, Section 2 on Sunday. This is Section 3, all new material exclusive to La Russophobe which has never before appeared in English. The full version of Part II is available now as a downloadable PDF, click here to view it. We will shortly publish the entire white paper as single HTML page, which can be cut and pasted.  Click “Nemtsov” in our header to read Part I.

Putin: The Bottom Line

Part II, Gazprom

by Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Frolov

Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel

Pipeline Machinations

In recent year Putin and Gazprom’s management have devoted a great deal of time and effort to a number of gas pipeline projects involving a lot of propaganda ballyhoo as well a serious foreign political gameplay. Many Russians have been led to believe that all these ‘Northern’, ‘Southern’, ‘Bluestream’ and other pipelines are the keystone of Russia’s national interests. Many therefore worry about the fate of these projects and accept that countries which are openly against the pipelines should be painted as enemies.

On closer examination, however, none of these ambitious projects for new export pipelines present anything like and open-and-shut case. In fact, these projects are no less machinations than the asset stripping of Gazprom.

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The Nemtsov White Paper, Part II: Gazprom (Section 1)

La Russophobe has previously published a brief extract from the second part of the Nemtsov White Paper, dealing with Gazprom, edited by us from the English version that appeared in the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. In doing so, we had to rely on NG’s translation of the substance, not an optimal scenario by any means. Now, our translator and columnist Dave Essel has undertaken to provide the entire work in English, as he did for Part I.  Another benefit is that we now republish all Nemtsov’s illustrations, and as before we will publish this material in rolling installments and create an online PDF version, as well as a unified HTML document, after the final installment issues. Here is section 1.

Vladmir Putin: The Bottom Line
Part II – Gazprom

by Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Milov

Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel

In February 2008, the authors of the report you are now reading published an independent expert report Putin – The Bottom Line in which they presented their views on what the Russian Federation’s second president had done for Russia. In Putin – The Bottom Line we gave an unflattering but in our view fair evaluation, backed up by facts and figures, of the outcome of Vladimir Putin’s activities for the country – an outcome that is hidden from Russian eyes behind a smokescreen of official propaganda – in such fields as the economy, the army, the pension system, health and education, roads and highways, and others.

A good number of readers rightly pointed out that there was one problem which we had only partially covered – Russia’s energy situation in general and the issue of Gazprom , Russia’s main energy company, in particular.

This was a deliberate omission on our part. We believe that the situation around Gazprom is worthy of individual attention and not something to be covered in just a few paragraphs.

This, firstly, is because Gazprom and what happens within it are of the utmost importance to our country. A second reason is because we have direct, first-hand knowledge of Gazprom’s problems because we were involved with it in our professional lives as former Russian minister of fuel and and energy and deputy minister of energy. Our last reason is that Gazprom has become a sort of personal special project of Putin’s: from the very beginning of his presidency he has carefully nurtured this corporation, appointed people close to him to key posts within it, and overseen its work in detail. Gazprom is one of only a few projects for which Putin can be considered to be personally responsible from the earliest days he was in power. One can, as a result, use it as a measure of the results of Putin’s doings.

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Nemtsov on Black Tuesday, via Essel

Former Russian deputy prime minister Boris Nemstov, in the middle of an argument Putin style with the neo-Soviet Kremlin

Former Russian deputy prime minister Boris Nemstov, in the middle of an argument Putin style with the neo-Soviet Kremlin

Now here is an example of the blogosphere at its best. 

  • Step #1:  We put up a post analyzing the Russian stock market crash. 
  • Step #2:  Posting a link, commenter “Dobo” shows us a report on Kavkaz Centre talking up an interview by former deputy PM Boris Nemstov on the same subject. 
  • Step #3: We ask for a link to the source interview.
  • Step #4:  Another commenter (“Felix“) provides it. 
  • Step #5:  Our expert translator Dave Essel offers his brilliant English rendering.  Mind you, all this is gratis, work donated to help the people of Russia escape from dictatorship.
  • Step #6:  We publish it (after the jump).  But for this chain of events, Mr. Nemtsov’s brave insights might never have seen the light of day in English. It makes us a very formidable community.  Let’s have more of the same, shall we?

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Nemtsov on Gazprom via Novaya Gazeta

Gazprom short-changes Russian consumers

Gazprom short-changes Russian consumers

Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Milov, writing in Novaya Gazeta‘s English edition, offer the following analysis of the Gazprom empire (we have edited the orginal translation for linguistic issues and we have reproduced only one of the numerous tables offered by the authors; the others can be found by following the link). It is a continuation of the authors’ brilliant and courageous White Paper which we have previously translated and published through the good offices of columnist Dave Essel.

Putin and Gazprom

In February 2008 the authors of this paper published an independent expert report titled “Putin, the Bottom Line,” where we presented our vision of the results of the administration of of the second president of the Russian Federation. In that report we gave an uncomplimentary, though fair, assessment of Vladimir Putin’s work in various spheres of our life – the economy, the army, the pension system, the health care system, road infrastructure and other areas. The report was based on figures and facts concealed from Russian citizens by official propaganda.

Many readers noted that there was one issue upon we had touched too lightly, namely the Russian energy industry in general and Gazprom natural gas monopoly in particular.

That was not an accidental omission by us. We considered that the situation involving Gazprom required special consideration which would not be possible to fit in just a couple of paragraphs within our brief white paper. First, because Gazprom plays such a central role in pumping the lifeblood of our nation. Second, because we have first-hand knowledge of Gazprom’s problems, having had direct involvement with the company in our professional activities as a former fuel and energy minister and the deputy energy minister of Russia. Third, because Gazprom has been a kind of special and personal project of Mr. Putin. From the very beginning of his presidency he has cared for the company in a special way, appointing his closest confidants to the key posts in the company and looking into all the details carefully. Gazprom is one of few the projects where Putin can be considered personally responsible for the results, from the beginning of his tenure in office, and one of the projects to be taken as a central criterion for assessment of Putin’s presidential activities, a litmus test if you will.

In this present paper we intended to continue the method of analysis we began in our White Paper and to focus on what has been happening to Gazprom these past few years.

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