Daily Archives: April 13, 2006

Benighted Russians Lost in Darkness

According to Moscow Times columnist Sergei A. Karaganov: “It is unpopular now in most of Europe, including Russia, to cite with approval anything the American president says. “

How typically Russian! George Bush is the only thing standing between Russia and a massive boycott of the St. Petersburg G-8 meeting over Russia’s outrageous providing of American secrets to Iraq during the war, and yet Russians consider him their enemy. No wonder Russia is in a state of permanent decline! Just wait until the Democrats are elected and begin to pursue their human rights policy against Russia, then it will find out who its true enemies are . . . but, a always, much too late for it to any good.

Katyn Forest Massacre Anniversary

As CNN reported, this spring marks the 46th anniversary of the murder of 4,000 Polish officers in cold blood by Soviet troops and KGB agents following the conquest of Poland by Russia in World War II.

Despite knowing the pain of conquest through the destruction of such cities as Stalingrad, Russians nevertheless did not hesitate to inflict even more barbaric suffering on their tiny neighbor Poland.

Russia feared it could not hold Poland as a slave state if her brave officers lived, so it marched them into the Katyn forest and cut them down in cold blood, one of the most despicable acts of cowardice and dishonor in all of military history.

When the mass grave was discovered years later, Russia tried to blame the crime on Nazi Germany, and to this day has done nothing to atone for it.

Will Russia remember Katyn this spring? How about in four years on the 50th anniversary?

Live in Russia? Da nyet, spasibo, they all say

From the Moscow Times:

Americans and Canadians would sooner settle in communist China or sub-Saharan Africa than move to Moscow. Europeans prefer the Falkland Islands. And Asians would go almost anywhere else except the likes of war-torn Baghdad and the West Bank.

According to a survey of expatriates from North America, Western Europe and Asia now stationed around the world, Moscow ranks toward the bottom of everyone’s list. The survey of more than 1,000 expatriates from over 200 countries was distributed in November to clients of human resources company ECA International and was only recently made available to the press.

Out of 257 cities listed, North Americans ranked Moscow the 157th most-desirable place to live and work; Western Europeans ranked it 147th, and Asians 204th. Other cities that beat out Moscow in the poll, in the view of respondents from all three regions, include Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Rarotonga, Cook Islands; Tunis, Tunisia; Windhoek, Namibia; and Beirut, Lebanon.

Kremlin Launches Pogrom

From the Moscow Times today.

Several dozen police officers broke up a prayer meeting of about 200 Jehovah’s Witnesses in southeastern Moscow and briefly detained 14 worshipers.

The Wednesday evening raid promises to raise new worries about a clampdown on minority religions at a time when the clout of the Russian Orthodox Church is increasing.

More than 30 police officers burst into the prayer meeting in a rented hall on Sovkhoznaya Ulitsa at around 9 p.m. and detained 14 organizers, Vasily Kalin, head of the managing committee of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, said Thursday.

Kalin said police told the worshipers that they were violating a 2004 ban on Jehovah’s Witnesses in Moscow.

The Felonious Fraud that is Victor Yanukovich

Victor Yanukovich, shown above, a repeated candidate for the presidency of Ukraine, is a convicted criminal, having been sentenced to three years in prison for robbery in 1967. No sooner was he released than in 1970 he was convicted of assault and battery in 1970 and sentenced to two years in prison. In 1978 he was prosecuted a third time, but this time acquitted. Despite this, he twice received the official endorsement of Russian president Vladimir Putin and the Russian Duma.

Yanukovich became a member of the Communist Party in 1980.

An electrician by training, he does not have a genuine undergraduate diploma but rather only a degree he obtained through a correspondence school. He then obtained various higher degrees through vague periods of study. His knowledge of Ukrainian language is extremely poor and his handwritten documents on record are full of linguistic errors.Yanukovich is closely linked to organized crime, particularly the dreaded Clan of Donetsk headed by Rinat Akhmetov and he has also been linked to the Russian KGB as a mole.

Yanukovich was a member of the Kuchma administration which was fundamentally corrupt and utterly repudiated by Ukrainian voters.

Here is what the World Socialism Website had to say about Yanukovich’s recent election “victory”: “It has taken little more than a year for this “revolution” to expose itself before the Ukrainian masses for the reactionary fraud it always was. From the beginning, Yushchenko and Timoshenko based themselves largely on middle-class, anticommunist layers that opposed the old Soviet system and its remnants in the Kuchma regime not out of hostility to Stalinist repression and corruption, but because it limited their strivings for wealth and privilege. Those who took to the streets out of genuine hatred for Kuchma and the oligarchs were cynically manipulated by the “democratic” impostors and their Western sponsors. In the final analysis, moreover, Yushchenko, Timoshenko and Yanukovich all represent rival oligarchic clans—some, mainly in the east of the country, more closely tied to Russia and the remnants of the state economy; others, mainly in the west, more closely linked to US and European interests. Yushchenko’s initial steps in his “free market” policy only intensified the social crisis facing broad masses of Ukrainian working people. In 2005, the economy grew by a mere 2 percent, compared with 12 percent in 2004. Inflation is averaging 13 percent. Poverty and inequality have reached record levels. The social crisis reached a high point last December when Russia for a time cut off gas supplies to Ukraine, and only restored the flow of energy on the basis of a new and far higher price scale. This crisis evidently brought home for many workers the economic damage caused by the breaking apart of Russia and Ukraine, whose economies were closely integrated within the Soviet framework.” In other words, the people of Ukraine justly suffered for daring to dissolve the Communist paradise of the Soviet Union, soon to be restored by Comrade Yanukovich.

Yanukovich is surrounded by pro-Russian propaganda and blatant disinformation. Writing in Russia Profile, a group of Russians claimed that “in no way is Victor Yanukovich a pro-Russian political figure. In fact, he plays the ‘Russian card’ skillfully, capitalizing on Moscow’s integrationist illusions. It is likely that he would be more successful than Yulia Tymoshenko at renegotiating the gas deal with Russia. He was one of former-President Leonid Kuchma’s closest associates, and Kuchma was never Moscow’s biggest admirer.” This is obvious propaganda, coming from a member of Russian Duma and a MIGIMO professor. Apparently, the wily Yanokovich duped the clueless Vladimir Putin into formally endorsing Yanukovich and spending millions to support his election campaign. Apparently he also duped the entire Duma, which formally congratulated Yanokovich on his “victory” in being the most popular candidate in the most recent elections (even though the Orange Coalition formed the government). This is the sort of ludicrous propaganda Russia is prepared to put forth regarding Yanukovich, easily worthy of the old ham-handed USSR tactics that brought Russia to its knees.

Given all this, it’s hardly surprising that only 30% of Ukrainians favored Yanukovich with their votes, while 70% rejected him, even despite millions of dollars in campaign support provided to him by the Kremlin (including even an attempt to poison his rival Yushchenko).