Last week Lt. Col. Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov was arrested in Moscow and charged with masterminding the murder of hero journalist Anna Politkovskaya. At the time he did so, Pavlyuchenkov was head of surveillance at Moscow’s Main Internal Affairs Directorate, the city’s main police force. At long last, in other words, the world has learned that it was not some rogue elements from Chechnya, acting on the orders of Ramzan Kadyrov, who liquidated Politkovskaya.
It was the Moscow Kremlin.
Putin is the disease, democracy is the cure.
The Moscow Times reports:
Siberian investigators are seeking jail terms over a prank in which a billboard (shown above) for a clinic treating sexually transmitted diseases was doctored to include less-than-flattering portraits of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin.
Lebedev Goes Down
Lebedev goes Down
Recent days have seen a disturbing trend as oligarch after oligarch bows and scrapes before Vladimir Putin (so-called “president” Dima Medvedev did the same in his recent press conference). By the far the most ominous of these has been Alexander Lebedev.
Lebedev is the publisher of Novaya Gazeta, by far Russia’s most important source of information about the Putin regime. He openly admits that he has been receiving relentless pressure from the KGB on his banking business, and that he has decided to side with Putin rather than become a jailed pauper like Mikkhail Khodorkovsky. The tycoon posted a statement on his website stating that his “Our Capital” movement had decided to join the All-Russia People’s Front created by Putin earlier this month.
Posted in editorial, journalism, journalists, neo-soviet crackdown, russia
Tagged Alexander Lebedev, dmitry medvedev, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, novaya gazeta, russia, vladimir putin
Hero journalist Yulia Latynina, writing in the Moscow Times:
It must be nice to be president. Could you imagine if every half hour Ekho Moskvy radio announced, instead of the news: “Tomorrow at this time you’ll be able to hear the news on this station. We’ve set a goal and a plan: to provide you the news. It’ll be incredible. Amazing. Fantastic. The world’s best. And, don’t forget, tomorrow. We promise.” How long could that continue before everyone stopped listening to Ekho Moskvy?
But President Dmitry Medvedev continually promises to start working and never does. Not only does everybody listen to him, they even deem his statements worth discussing.
The always-brilliant Ariel Cohen, writing on the Heritage Foundation blog:
[The first week in November], two seemingly unconnected events took place in Moscow. Yet, considered together, they have are of tremendous importance and serve to weaken the rule of law in Russia.
[On] Tuesday, imprisoned former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky delivered a passionate speech at the end of his kangeroo court proceedings about the corroding lawlessness plaguing his country. As Khodorkovsky addressed the court, masked Russian police SWAT teams armed with Kalashnikovs raided the National Reserve Bank in Moscow. The bank belongs to Alexander Lebedev, another billionaire political opponent of the Putin-Medvedev “tandemocracy.”
Other Russia reports:
Editors at Novaya Gazeta, one of Russia’s most well-renowned opposition newspapers, fear that the publication may be shut down in the coming year.
Following months of legal battles, a Russian court declared in September that a decision by Roskomnadzor (Russia’s federal media supervision agency) to issue an official warning against the newspaper for “propagandizing nationalistic views” was valid. Since a publication can be shut down after two such warnings, Novaya Gazeta editors say that the court’s decision spells the beginning of the possible end of the newspaper.
Back in June, we translated from the pages of Novaya Gazeta a story about Russian soldiers having their organs harvested and sold for profit. Now, the Moscow Times updates the story:
It’s been more than seven years since the border guards, a unit of the Federal Security Service, returned Alma Bukharbayeva’s teenage son in a sealed casket.
Marat Burtubayev, 18, was serving with his unit in the Khabarovsk region, near the Chinese border, for his required two years of military service. He was eight months into his service when commanders said the young recruit hanged himself in January 2003.
But what they did not explain — and what Bukharbayeva has been trying to learn ever since — is what happened to her son’s internal organs.
Translator’s Note: Neo-Nazi Russia is putting a toe in the water to test the political mood of the country. In a supremely emetic move, it has been announced that . . .
Stalin’s Grandson Sues “Novaya Gazeta”
30 July 2009
Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel
Ekho Moskvy radio station has just broadcast the news that Stalin’s grandson, Yevgenii Dzhugashvili, has had a writ served on Novaya Gazeta, complaining about an article entitled “Beria Was the Guilty Party” published in that paper on 22 April this year. The writ is against the newspaper itself and the author of the article Anatoli Yablokov. The writ demands that the paper publish a retraction stating that Yablokov’s remarks about Stalin are baseless, untrue, and defamatory of Stalin’s honour and reputation. In particular, the plaintiff is concerned with the words: “Stalin and the Chekists are bound by great bloodshed and the worst of crimes, above all against their own people”. The plaintiff is demanding moral damages of 10 milllion roubles and also that a retraction be published. Yevgenii Dzhugashvili’s case has been accepted and will be heard by Moscow’s Basmanny District Court.
[This of course is the court whose name has become a byword for justice perverted by instructions from on high to its judges (or which simply has the most prejudiced and stupid judges in the world). The world laughs and weeps as Russia degradates.]
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.
Der Spiegel reports, in an impressively massive effort which includes an interview with Mikhail Gorbachev, on the horrific persecution being visited upon Russia’s most patriotic newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, by the KGB monsters who prowl the Kremlin. The report aptly explains why we are so proud when the lunatic Russophile nationalists of the blogosphere refer to us, as they see it derogatively, as an English version of the mighty little paper.
Olga seemed simultaneously awestruck and wary as she ran her fingers across the envelope. The sender seemed to be important: the “Presidential Administration.” Was it mail from the Kremlin? “But the envelope felt strange,” says Olga, who is secretary to the editor-in-chief of the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. When she finally opened the envelope, she felt something cold and leathery inside: the severed ears of a donkey. “One needs strong nerves here,” she says. Four of the newspaper’s journalists have already been murdered, and one of its attorneys was shot dead in broad daylight. The donkey ears were followed a few days later by a bloody piece of meat. This time there was no return address on the envelope. And then a peculiar man offered the editor-in-chief a bribe.
A Note from the Translator: Some people in Russia – sadly few in number – see and understand the ever enlarging whirlpool of madness into which the country is being engulfed. Here are three ‘fun’ items from last week’s Novaya Gazeta, a special issue subtitled “Encyclopedia of Bureaucratic Idiocy: Can there be any hope for a country where such stupidity reigns?”
The Whirlpool of Russian Madness
Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel
Sergei Kuzhegetovich Shoigu [TN: Russia's Minister of Emergency Situations] has proposed that that it be made a criminal offence to deny that the USSR was victorious in the Great Patriotic War.
We have chosen Mr. Shoigu as our ”Man of the Issue,” in particular because Yuri Chaika, our Prosecutor General, seconds the choice. Shoiga has done well to take this matter so much to heart: it’s a very serious thing to entertain doubts about Russia’s victories nowadays! Shouldn’t we be doing more than he proposes, however? We suggest that there should be a 2-year sentence for denying that Russia is rising up from its knees, one year for each lying rug-burnt knee! It should also be a criminal offence to deny that Zenit won the European Cup and Bilan the Eurovision contest. A suspended sentence would probably do in the latter case – on condition that the accused expresses regret.