Daily Archives: December 13, 2006

Another Russian Speaks on the Litvinenko Killing, Another Exclusive LR Translation

Here is another original La Russophobe translation of a Russian article which appeared in Yezhedevny Zhurnal under the byline Alexander Osovtsov (pictured). The author cuts to the heart of the matter regarding the Litvinenko, Gaidar and Politkovskaya attacks: No matter whether Putin gave the order or had nothing to do with it, it’s credible that he gave the order. His reputation is a mess and that’s a problem all by itself. Unfortunately, there are too few Russians capable of realizing this basic fact.

I’m often reminded of the way in which the now deceased Chechen rebel commander Shamil Basayev lost a foot. A Russian colonel arrived at Basayev’s besieged hideout in Grozny and told him that for $100,000 safe passage out of the city could be arranged. The colonel then promptly led the credulous Basayev into an ambush. Quite likely, the Russians felt this operation was a brilliant success, even though it didn’t manage to take out Basayev, since a great many of his followers were wiped out. It is likely, however, that they didn’t ask themselves what precondition was necessary for the success of their plan, namely the fundamental credibility reflected in the idea that a Russian officer would sell out his country for money. Basayev, well versed in the ways of Russians, was all to ready to believe this proposition. Would Russians have fallen for a similar ploy if a German officer had appeared at Stalingrad with such a proposition? It seems unlikely.

And I was reminded of this reality once gain in listening to the different points of view being advanced in regard to the recent attacks on Politkovskaya, Litvinenko and Gaidar. Four theories have been advanced as the identity of the perpetrators:

1. Russian special forces acting on Putin’s orders
2. Pro-Putin oligarchs acting in Putin’s interests
3. Enemies of Russia seeking to discredit the government
4. Anti-Putin oligarchs seeking to discredit pro-Putin oligarchs

Although these four variants appear substantively varied, they are united by a common theme: That murder is viewed as an acceptable means of advancing policy by those in charge of our country. Indeed, two of the variants proceed from the supposition that it’s possible to discredit those in authority with a murder, because the world will believe they might have done it.

And in fact, when news of these three attacks was released, nobody in his right mind said: “No! Vladimir Putin is not capable of ordering such murder!” Nobody could write or say that Putin (or the other authorities mentioned) would not go to this length under the right circumstances. The only question is whether those circumstances were present or not. Nobody would even think of raising issues like honor, personal or professional, as being a restriction.

When John Kennedy was assassinated, I don’t recall many people openly willing to blame his successor Lyndon Johnson or his adversaries in the Republican Party for the killing. And the same thing in similar cases in Sweden and elsewhere. But the situation is different in our country, even among our most ardent patriots, similar to what you might find in Lebanon or Sri Lanka. What sort of people rule over us, if the question of whether they killed or not simply turns upon whether it was advantageous for them to do so or not?

Indeed, Putin himself has said so. When Politkovskaya was killed, he attempted to defend himself by arguing that the killing was more harmful to Russia’s interests that she and her writings were. You didn’t hear a word from him along the lines of “I’d never do anything like that,” now did you? And I asked myself the same questions, trying to determine the identity of the killer: Whom would it benefit, and how much.

What has our country become, if this is the way we think about our leaders?

Pasko via Amsterdam

Robert Amsterdam offers a column by Russian dissident journalist Grigory Pasko regarding the possiblity of new charges being filed against Mikhail Khodorkovsky (Amsterdam is one of Khodorkovsky’s lawyers and Pasko one of Russia’s most heroic patriots, undoubtedly now a target in light of the Politkovskaya killing and yet still bravely doing his work).

The ‘Hammer Nails Litvinenko’s Killers

Writing in the Washington Post, conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer (pictured left) nails the Litvinenko situation down hard:

The poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, renegade Russian spy and fierce critic of Vladimir Putin’s government, is everywhere being called a mystery. There is dark speculation about unnamed “rogue elements” either in the Russian secret services or among ultranationalists acting independently of the government. There are whispers about the indeterminacy of things in the shadowy netherworld of Russian exile politics, crime and espionage.

Well, you can believe in indeterminacy. Or you can believe the testimony delivered on the only reliable lie detector ever invented — the deathbed — by the victim himself. Litvinenko directly accused Putin of killing him.

Litvinenko knew more about his circumstances than anyone else. And on their deathbeds, people don’t lie. As Machiavelli said (some attribute this to Voltaire), after thrice refusing the entreaties of a priest to repent his sins and renounce Satan, “At a time like this, Father, one tries not to make new enemies.”

In science, there is a principle called Occam’s razor. When presented with competing theories for explaining a natural phenomenon, one adopts the least elaborate. Nature prefers simplicity. Scientists do not indulge in grassy-knoll theories. You don’t need a convoluted device to explain Litvinenko’s demise.

Do you think Anna Politkovskaya, the journalist who was investigating the war in Chechnya, was shot dead in her elevator by rogue elements? What about Viktor Yushchenko, the presidential candidate in Ukraine and eventual winner, poisoned with dioxin during the campaign, leaving him alive but disfigured? Ultranationalist Russians?

Opponents of Putin have been falling like flies. Some jailed, some exiled, some killed. True, Litvinenko’s murder will never be traced directly to Putin, no matter how dogged the British police investigation. State-sponsored assassinations are almost never traceable to the source. Too many cutouts. Too many layers of protection between the don and the hit man.

Moreover, Russia has a long and distinguished history of state-sponsored assassination, of which the ice-pick murder of Leon Trotsky was but the most notorious. Does anyone believe that Pope John Paul II, then shaking the foundations of the Soviet empire, was shot by a crazed Turk acting on behalf of only Bulgaria?

If we were not mourning a brave man who has just died a horrible death, one would almost have to admire the Russians, not just for audacity but for technique in Litvinenko’s polonium-210 murder. Assassination by poisoning evokes the great classical era of raison d’etat rub-outs by the Borgias and the Medicis. But the futurist twist of (to paraphrase Peter D. Zimmerman in the Wall Street Journal) the first reported radiological assassination in history adds an element of the baroque of which a world-class thug outfit such as the KGB (now given new initials) should be proud.

Some say that the Litvinenko murder was so obvious, so bold, so messy — five airplanes contaminated, 30,000 people alerted, dozens of places in London radioactive — that it could not possibly have been the KGB.

But that’s the beauty of it. Do it obvious, do it brazen, and count on those too-clever-by-half Westerners to find that exonerating. As the president of the Central Anarchist Council (in G.K. Chesterton’s “The Man Who Was Thursday”) advised: “You want a safe disguise, do you? . . . A dress in which no one would ever look for a bomb? Why, then, dress up as an anarchist, you fool!”

The other reason for making it obvious and brazen is to send a message. This is a warning to all the future Litvinenkos of what awaits them if they continue to go after the Russian government. They’ll get you even in London, where there is the rule of law. And they’ll get you even if it makes negative headlines for a month.

Some people say that the KGB would not have gone to such great lengths to get so small a fry as Litvinenko. Well, he might have been a small fry, but his investigations were not. He was looking into the Kremlin roots of Politkovskaya’s shooting. And Litvinenko claimed that the Russian government itself blew up apartment buildings in Moscow and elsewhere in 1999, killing hundreds of innocent civilians, in order to blame it on the Chechens and provoke the second Chechen war. Pretty damning stuff.

But even Litvinenko’s personal smallness serves the KGB’s purposes precisely. If they go to such lengths and such messiness and such risk to kill someone as small as Litvinenko, then no critic of the Putin dictatorship is safe. It is the ultimate in deterrence.

The prosecution rests. We await definitive confirmation in Putin’s memoirs. Working title: “If I Did It.”

The ‘Hammer Nails Litvinenko’s Killers

Writing in the Washington Post, conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer (pictured left) nails the Litvinenko situation down hard:

The poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, renegade Russian spy and fierce critic of Vladimir Putin’s government, is everywhere being called a mystery. There is dark speculation about unnamed “rogue elements” either in the Russian secret services or among ultranationalists acting independently of the government. There are whispers about the indeterminacy of things in the shadowy netherworld of Russian exile politics, crime and espionage.

Well, you can believe in indeterminacy. Or you can believe the testimony delivered on the only reliable lie detector ever invented — the deathbed — by the victim himself. Litvinenko directly accused Putin of killing him.

Litvinenko knew more about his circumstances than anyone else. And on their deathbeds, people don’t lie. As Machiavelli said (some attribute this to Voltaire), after thrice refusing the entreaties of a priest to repent his sins and renounce Satan, “At a time like this, Father, one tries not to make new enemies.”

In science, there is a principle called Occam’s razor. When presented with competing theories for explaining a natural phenomenon, one adopts the least elaborate. Nature prefers simplicity. Scientists do not indulge in grassy-knoll theories. You don’t need a convoluted device to explain Litvinenko’s demise.

Do you think Anna Politkovskaya, the journalist who was investigating the war in Chechnya, was shot dead in her elevator by rogue elements? What about Viktor Yushchenko, the presidential candidate in Ukraine and eventual winner, poisoned with dioxin during the campaign, leaving him alive but disfigured? Ultranationalist Russians?

Opponents of Putin have been falling like flies. Some jailed, some exiled, some killed. True, Litvinenko’s murder will never be traced directly to Putin, no matter how dogged the British police investigation. State-sponsored assassinations are almost never traceable to the source. Too many cutouts. Too many layers of protection between the don and the hit man.

Moreover, Russia has a long and distinguished history of state-sponsored assassination, of which the ice-pick murder of Leon Trotsky was but the most notorious. Does anyone believe that Pope John Paul II, then shaking the foundations of the Soviet empire, was shot by a crazed Turk acting on behalf of only Bulgaria?

If we were not mourning a brave man who has just died a horrible death, one would almost have to admire the Russians, not just for audacity but for technique in Litvinenko’s polonium-210 murder. Assassination by poisoning evokes the great classical era of raison d’etat rub-outs by the Borgias and the Medicis. But the futurist twist of (to paraphrase Peter D. Zimmerman in the Wall Street Journal) the first reported radiological assassination in history adds an element of the baroque of which a world-class thug outfit such as the KGB (now given new initials) should be proud.

Some say that the Litvinenko murder was so obvious, so bold, so messy — five airplanes contaminated, 30,000 people alerted, dozens of places in London radioactive — that it could not possibly have been the KGB.

But that’s the beauty of it. Do it obvious, do it brazen, and count on those too-clever-by-half Westerners to find that exonerating. As the president of the Central Anarchist Council (in G.K. Chesterton’s “The Man Who Was Thursday”) advised: “You want a safe disguise, do you? . . . A dress in which no one would ever look for a bomb? Why, then, dress up as an anarchist, you fool!”

The other reason for making it obvious and brazen is to send a message. This is a warning to all the future Litvinenkos of what awaits them if they continue to go after the Russian government. They’ll get you even in London, where there is the rule of law. And they’ll get you even if it makes negative headlines for a month.

Some people say that the KGB would not have gone to such great lengths to get so small a fry as Litvinenko. Well, he might have been a small fry, but his investigations were not. He was looking into the Kremlin roots of Politkovskaya’s shooting. And Litvinenko claimed that the Russian government itself blew up apartment buildings in Moscow and elsewhere in 1999, killing hundreds of innocent civilians, in order to blame it on the Chechens and provoke the second Chechen war. Pretty damning stuff.

But even Litvinenko’s personal smallness serves the KGB’s purposes precisely. If they go to such lengths and such messiness and such risk to kill someone as small as Litvinenko, then no critic of the Putin dictatorship is safe. It is the ultimate in deterrence.

The prosecution rests. We await definitive confirmation in Putin’s memoirs. Working title: “If I Did It.”

The ‘Hammer Nails Litvinenko’s Killers

Writing in the Washington Post, conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer (pictured left) nails the Litvinenko situation down hard:

The poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, renegade Russian spy and fierce critic of Vladimir Putin’s government, is everywhere being called a mystery. There is dark speculation about unnamed “rogue elements” either in the Russian secret services or among ultranationalists acting independently of the government. There are whispers about the indeterminacy of things in the shadowy netherworld of Russian exile politics, crime and espionage.

Well, you can believe in indeterminacy. Or you can believe the testimony delivered on the only reliable lie detector ever invented — the deathbed — by the victim himself. Litvinenko directly accused Putin of killing him.

Litvinenko knew more about his circumstances than anyone else. And on their deathbeds, people don’t lie. As Machiavelli said (some attribute this to Voltaire), after thrice refusing the entreaties of a priest to repent his sins and renounce Satan, “At a time like this, Father, one tries not to make new enemies.”

In science, there is a principle called Occam’s razor. When presented with competing theories for explaining a natural phenomenon, one adopts the least elaborate. Nature prefers simplicity. Scientists do not indulge in grassy-knoll theories. You don’t need a convoluted device to explain Litvinenko’s demise.

Do you think Anna Politkovskaya, the journalist who was investigating the war in Chechnya, was shot dead in her elevator by rogue elements? What about Viktor Yushchenko, the presidential candidate in Ukraine and eventual winner, poisoned with dioxin during the campaign, leaving him alive but disfigured? Ultranationalist Russians?

Opponents of Putin have been falling like flies. Some jailed, some exiled, some killed. True, Litvinenko’s murder will never be traced directly to Putin, no matter how dogged the British police investigation. State-sponsored assassinations are almost never traceable to the source. Too many cutouts. Too many layers of protection between the don and the hit man.

Moreover, Russia has a long and distinguished history of state-sponsored assassination, of which the ice-pick murder of Leon Trotsky was but the most notorious. Does anyone believe that Pope John Paul II, then shaking the foundations of the Soviet empire, was shot by a crazed Turk acting on behalf of only Bulgaria?

If we were not mourning a brave man who has just died a horrible death, one would almost have to admire the Russians, not just for audacity but for technique in Litvinenko’s polonium-210 murder. Assassination by poisoning evokes the great classical era of raison d’etat rub-outs by the Borgias and the Medicis. But the futurist twist of (to paraphrase Peter D. Zimmerman in the Wall Street Journal) the first reported radiological assassination in history adds an element of the baroque of which a world-class thug outfit such as the KGB (now given new initials) should be proud.

Some say that the Litvinenko murder was so obvious, so bold, so messy — five airplanes contaminated, 30,000 people alerted, dozens of places in London radioactive — that it could not possibly have been the KGB.

But that’s the beauty of it. Do it obvious, do it brazen, and count on those too-clever-by-half Westerners to find that exonerating. As the president of the Central Anarchist Council (in G.K. Chesterton’s “The Man Who Was Thursday”) advised: “You want a safe disguise, do you? . . . A dress in which no one would ever look for a bomb? Why, then, dress up as an anarchist, you fool!”

The other reason for making it obvious and brazen is to send a message. This is a warning to all the future Litvinenkos of what awaits them if they continue to go after the Russian government. They’ll get you even in London, where there is the rule of law. And they’ll get you even if it makes negative headlines for a month.

Some people say that the KGB would not have gone to such great lengths to get so small a fry as Litvinenko. Well, he might have been a small fry, but his investigations were not. He was looking into the Kremlin roots of Politkovskaya’s shooting. And Litvinenko claimed that the Russian government itself blew up apartment buildings in Moscow and elsewhere in 1999, killing hundreds of innocent civilians, in order to blame it on the Chechens and provoke the second Chechen war. Pretty damning stuff.

But even Litvinenko’s personal smallness serves the KGB’s purposes precisely. If they go to such lengths and such messiness and such risk to kill someone as small as Litvinenko, then no critic of the Putin dictatorship is safe. It is the ultimate in deterrence.

The prosecution rests. We await definitive confirmation in Putin’s memoirs. Working title: “If I Did It.”

The ‘Hammer Nails Litvinenko’s Killers

Writing in the Washington Post, conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer (pictured left) nails the Litvinenko situation down hard:

The poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, renegade Russian spy and fierce critic of Vladimir Putin’s government, is everywhere being called a mystery. There is dark speculation about unnamed “rogue elements” either in the Russian secret services or among ultranationalists acting independently of the government. There are whispers about the indeterminacy of things in the shadowy netherworld of Russian exile politics, crime and espionage.

Well, you can believe in indeterminacy. Or you can believe the testimony delivered on the only reliable lie detector ever invented — the deathbed — by the victim himself. Litvinenko directly accused Putin of killing him.

Litvinenko knew more about his circumstances than anyone else. And on their deathbeds, people don’t lie. As Machiavelli said (some attribute this to Voltaire), after thrice refusing the entreaties of a priest to repent his sins and renounce Satan, “At a time like this, Father, one tries not to make new enemies.”

In science, there is a principle called Occam’s razor. When presented with competing theories for explaining a natural phenomenon, one adopts the least elaborate. Nature prefers simplicity. Scientists do not indulge in grassy-knoll theories. You don’t need a convoluted device to explain Litvinenko’s demise.

Do you think Anna Politkovskaya, the journalist who was investigating the war in Chechnya, was shot dead in her elevator by rogue elements? What about Viktor Yushchenko, the presidential candidate in Ukraine and eventual winner, poisoned with dioxin during the campaign, leaving him alive but disfigured? Ultranationalist Russians?

Opponents of Putin have been falling like flies. Some jailed, some exiled, some killed. True, Litvinenko’s murder will never be traced directly to Putin, no matter how dogged the British police investigation. State-sponsored assassinations are almost never traceable to the source. Too many cutouts. Too many layers of protection between the don and the hit man.

Moreover, Russia has a long and distinguished history of state-sponsored assassination, of which the ice-pick murder of Leon Trotsky was but the most notorious. Does anyone believe that Pope John Paul II, then shaking the foundations of the Soviet empire, was shot by a crazed Turk acting on behalf of only Bulgaria?

If we were not mourning a brave man who has just died a horrible death, one would almost have to admire the Russians, not just for audacity but for technique in Litvinenko’s polonium-210 murder. Assassination by poisoning evokes the great classical era of raison d’etat rub-outs by the Borgias and the Medicis. But the futurist twist of (to paraphrase Peter D. Zimmerman in the Wall Street Journal) the first reported radiological assassination in history adds an element of the baroque of which a world-class thug outfit such as the KGB (now given new initials) should be proud.

Some say that the Litvinenko murder was so obvious, so bold, so messy — five airplanes contaminated, 30,000 people alerted, dozens of places in London radioactive — that it could not possibly have been the KGB.

But that’s the beauty of it. Do it obvious, do it brazen, and count on those too-clever-by-half Westerners to find that exonerating. As the president of the Central Anarchist Council (in G.K. Chesterton’s “The Man Who Was Thursday”) advised: “You want a safe disguise, do you? . . . A dress in which no one would ever look for a bomb? Why, then, dress up as an anarchist, you fool!”

The other reason for making it obvious and brazen is to send a message. This is a warning to all the future Litvinenkos of what awaits them if they continue to go after the Russian government. They’ll get you even in London, where there is the rule of law. And they’ll get you even if it makes negative headlines for a month.

Some people say that the KGB would not have gone to such great lengths to get so small a fry as Litvinenko. Well, he might have been a small fry, but his investigations were not. He was looking into the Kremlin roots of Politkovskaya’s shooting. And Litvinenko claimed that the Russian government itself blew up apartment buildings in Moscow and elsewhere in 1999, killing hundreds of innocent civilians, in order to blame it on the Chechens and provoke the second Chechen war. Pretty damning stuff.

But even Litvinenko’s personal smallness serves the KGB’s purposes precisely. If they go to such lengths and such messiness and such risk to kill someone as small as Litvinenko, then no critic of the Putin dictatorship is safe. It is the ultimate in deterrence.

The prosecution rests. We await definitive confirmation in Putin’s memoirs. Working title: “If I Did It.”

The ‘Hammer Nails Litvinenko’s Killers

Writing in the Washington Post, conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer (pictured left) nails the Litvinenko situation down hard:

The poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, renegade Russian spy and fierce critic of Vladimir Putin’s government, is everywhere being called a mystery. There is dark speculation about unnamed “rogue elements” either in the Russian secret services or among ultranationalists acting independently of the government. There are whispers about the indeterminacy of things in the shadowy netherworld of Russian exile politics, crime and espionage.

Well, you can believe in indeterminacy. Or you can believe the testimony delivered on the only reliable lie detector ever invented — the deathbed — by the victim himself. Litvinenko directly accused Putin of killing him.

Litvinenko knew more about his circumstances than anyone else. And on their deathbeds, people don’t lie. As Machiavelli said (some attribute this to Voltaire), after thrice refusing the entreaties of a priest to repent his sins and renounce Satan, “At a time like this, Father, one tries not to make new enemies.”

In science, there is a principle called Occam’s razor. When presented with competing theories for explaining a natural phenomenon, one adopts the least elaborate. Nature prefers simplicity. Scientists do not indulge in grassy-knoll theories. You don’t need a convoluted device to explain Litvinenko’s demise.

Do you think Anna Politkovskaya, the journalist who was investigating the war in Chechnya, was shot dead in her elevator by rogue elements? What about Viktor Yushchenko, the presidential candidate in Ukraine and eventual winner, poisoned with dioxin during the campaign, leaving him alive but disfigured? Ultranationalist Russians?

Opponents of Putin have been falling like flies. Some jailed, some exiled, some killed. True, Litvinenko’s murder will never be traced directly to Putin, no matter how dogged the British police investigation. State-sponsored assassinations are almost never traceable to the source. Too many cutouts. Too many layers of protection between the don and the hit man.

Moreover, Russia has a long and distinguished history of state-sponsored assassination, of which the ice-pick murder of Leon Trotsky was but the most notorious. Does anyone believe that Pope John Paul II, then shaking the foundations of the Soviet empire, was shot by a crazed Turk acting on behalf of only Bulgaria?

If we were not mourning a brave man who has just died a horrible death, one would almost have to admire the Russians, not just for audacity but for technique in Litvinenko’s polonium-210 murder. Assassination by poisoning evokes the great classical era of raison d’etat rub-outs by the Borgias and the Medicis. But the futurist twist of (to paraphrase Peter D. Zimmerman in the Wall Street Journal) the first reported radiological assassination in history adds an element of the baroque of which a world-class thug outfit such as the KGB (now given new initials) should be proud.

Some say that the Litvinenko murder was so obvious, so bold, so messy — five airplanes contaminated, 30,000 people alerted, dozens of places in London radioactive — that it could not possibly have been the KGB.

But that’s the beauty of it. Do it obvious, do it brazen, and count on those too-clever-by-half Westerners to find that exonerating. As the president of the Central Anarchist Council (in G.K. Chesterton’s “The Man Who Was Thursday”) advised: “You want a safe disguise, do you? . . . A dress in which no one would ever look for a bomb? Why, then, dress up as an anarchist, you fool!”

The other reason for making it obvious and brazen is to send a message. This is a warning to all the future Litvinenkos of what awaits them if they continue to go after the Russian government. They’ll get you even in London, where there is the rule of law. And they’ll get you even if it makes negative headlines for a month.

Some people say that the KGB would not have gone to such great lengths to get so small a fry as Litvinenko. Well, he might have been a small fry, but his investigations were not. He was looking into the Kremlin roots of Politkovskaya’s shooting. And Litvinenko claimed that the Russian government itself blew up apartment buildings in Moscow and elsewhere in 1999, killing hundreds of innocent civilians, in order to blame it on the Chechens and provoke the second Chechen war. Pretty damning stuff.

But even Litvinenko’s personal smallness serves the KGB’s purposes precisely. If they go to such lengths and such messiness and such risk to kill someone as small as Litvinenko, then no critic of the Putin dictatorship is safe. It is the ultimate in deterrence.

The prosecution rests. We await definitive confirmation in Putin’s memoirs. Working title: “If I Did It.”

Kremlin Threatens Journalists Over Litvinenko Reporting

A Step at a Time notes that there is a report on Wikinews that state-controlled propaganda outlet Russia Today announced on Friday a threat of the Russian government to sue for libel any journalist who reports statements about the Litvinenko killing that the Kremlin doesn’t care for. Unfortunately, the alleged Russia Today report is now locked behind the paid archives of that nefarious outlet. The Wiki report states:

Russia Today TV, Moscow’s English-language satellite television channel, reported that Russian government officials are considering filing libel suits against international journalists over their reporting on the poisoning death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko. Litvinenko was a strong critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and shortly before he died in London from radiation poisoning in late November, Litvinenko accused Putin of ordering his assassination. Putin and other Russian officials strongly denied any prior knowledge of a plot to kill Litvinenko. According to a report posted late Friday on the Russia Today TV web site, the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Media is gathering publications worldwide to be studied for libelous and offensive comments against Russia in their coverage of the Litvinenko’s case. Russia Today TV reported that the Russian government intends to file law suits for libel against international media if there is evidence of journalistic misconduct.

If true, and nothing Russia Today says can be taken at face value, this is just more evidence of the Kremlin’s fundamental weakness and paranoia.

More Race Violence in Piter

DNA World reports on yet another brutal race attack in Russia’s “most cosmpolitian” and “Western” city. If this is what goes on there, can you imagine what goes on in the backwaters?

In yet another case of apparent racial attack, an Indian medical student was badly beaten up by unknown youths near his hostel in St. Petersburg in Russia. The Indian student of Mechnikov Medical Academy, who has requested to withhold his identity so as not to create anxiety for his parents back home, was attacked by a group of youth on Sunday night 70 metres away from his hostel, according to Indian embassy sources. A senior official of the Indian Consulate General in St. Petersburg visited the boy within half an hour of the attack. According to an Interfax report, the Indian student’s leg was broken and his face and other parts of body were covered with bruises. The attack comes three months after a sixth year Indian student Nitish Kumar of the same medical academy was stabbed to death in September. Nitish’s brutal murder by alleged skinheads had stirred unrest among foreign students in St. Petersburg and Indian Embassy’s demarche had forced the Kremlin to focus on the acute problem of xenophobia and racial intolerance in post-communist Russia. Last week President Vladimir Putin had summoned the meeting with the leaders of the political parties and asked them not to play the racist card in the run-up to next year’s general elections. Putin has urged the parliament to reduce the age of criminal prosecution of youth to 14 years for hate crimes as the racists use teenagers under sixteen to attack non-white foreigners.

The Minimum Wage Sham in Putin’s Russia

Kommersant reported yesterday that the Duma voted to raise the minimum wage.

Good news for the poor? Not really.

Right now, the “minimum wage” (the lowest amount you can pay a worker for a month’s full-time labor) stands at 1,100 rubles or about $45 per month. That’s roughly $2 per eight-hour shift, or 25 cents per hour.

The problem is, you see, that according to the government’s own data over 4,000 rubles (about $5 per day) is required to sustain a person’s life in Russia today. The average Russian salary is about 8,500 rubles.

The Duma voted to raise the minimum wage to 2,000 rubles — not even half what is needed for subsistence. This will impact about 6.5 million Russian workers. The Duma’s plan is to raise it further during the course of the next year to 3,200 rubles, about 75% of the current subsistence level. But this takes no account of Russia’s double-digit consumer price inflation, which will raise the susistence leve to at least 4,500 rubles by the time the 3,200 level is reached (assuming the Duma keeps its promise). In other words, the minimum wage, which really should be called the starvation wage, will never catch up with the subsistence level.

The Minimum Wage Sham in Putin’s Russia

Kommersant reported yesterday that the Duma voted to raise the minimum wage.

Good news for the poor? Not really.

Right now, the “minimum wage” (the lowest amount you can pay a worker for a month’s full-time labor) stands at 1,100 rubles or about $45 per month. That’s roughly $2 per eight-hour shift, or 25 cents per hour.

The problem is, you see, that according to the government’s own data over 4,000 rubles (about $5 per day) is required to sustain a person’s life in Russia today. The average Russian salary is about 8,500 rubles.

The Duma voted to raise the minimum wage to 2,000 rubles — not even half what is needed for subsistence. This will impact about 6.5 million Russian workers. The Duma’s plan is to raise it further during the course of the next year to 3,200 rubles, about 75% of the current subsistence level. But this takes no account of Russia’s double-digit consumer price inflation, which will raise the susistence leve to at least 4,500 rubles by the time the 3,200 level is reached (assuming the Duma keeps its promise). In other words, the minimum wage, which really should be called the starvation wage, will never catch up with the subsistence level.

The Minimum Wage Sham in Putin’s Russia

Kommersant reported yesterday that the Duma voted to raise the minimum wage.

Good news for the poor? Not really.

Right now, the “minimum wage” (the lowest amount you can pay a worker for a month’s full-time labor) stands at 1,100 rubles or about $45 per month. That’s roughly $2 per eight-hour shift, or 25 cents per hour.

The problem is, you see, that according to the government’s own data over 4,000 rubles (about $5 per day) is required to sustain a person’s life in Russia today. The average Russian salary is about 8,500 rubles.

The Duma voted to raise the minimum wage to 2,000 rubles — not even half what is needed for subsistence. This will impact about 6.5 million Russian workers. The Duma’s plan is to raise it further during the course of the next year to 3,200 rubles, about 75% of the current subsistence level. But this takes no account of Russia’s double-digit consumer price inflation, which will raise the susistence leve to at least 4,500 rubles by the time the 3,200 level is reached (assuming the Duma keeps its promise). In other words, the minimum wage, which really should be called the starvation wage, will never catch up with the subsistence level.

The Minimum Wage Sham in Putin’s Russia

Kommersant reported yesterday that the Duma voted to raise the minimum wage.

Good news for the poor? Not really.

Right now, the “minimum wage” (the lowest amount you can pay a worker for a month’s full-time labor) stands at 1,100 rubles or about $45 per month. That’s roughly $2 per eight-hour shift, or 25 cents per hour.

The problem is, you see, that according to the government’s own data over 4,000 rubles (about $5 per day) is required to sustain a person’s life in Russia today. The average Russian salary is about 8,500 rubles.

The Duma voted to raise the minimum wage to 2,000 rubles — not even half what is needed for subsistence. This will impact about 6.5 million Russian workers. The Duma’s plan is to raise it further during the course of the next year to 3,200 rubles, about 75% of the current subsistence level. But this takes no account of Russia’s double-digit consumer price inflation, which will raise the susistence leve to at least 4,500 rubles by the time the 3,200 level is reached (assuming the Duma keeps its promise). In other words, the minimum wage, which really should be called the starvation wage, will never catch up with the subsistence level.

The Minimum Wage Sham in Putin’s Russia

Kommersant reported yesterday that the Duma voted to raise the minimum wage.

Good news for the poor? Not really.

Right now, the “minimum wage” (the lowest amount you can pay a worker for a month’s full-time labor) stands at 1,100 rubles or about $45 per month. That’s roughly $2 per eight-hour shift, or 25 cents per hour.

The problem is, you see, that according to the government’s own data over 4,000 rubles (about $5 per day) is required to sustain a person’s life in Russia today. The average Russian salary is about 8,500 rubles.

The Duma voted to raise the minimum wage to 2,000 rubles — not even half what is needed for subsistence. This will impact about 6.5 million Russian workers. The Duma’s plan is to raise it further during the course of the next year to 3,200 rubles, about 75% of the current subsistence level. But this takes no account of Russia’s double-digit consumer price inflation, which will raise the susistence leve to at least 4,500 rubles by the time the 3,200 level is reached (assuming the Duma keeps its promise). In other words, the minimum wage, which really should be called the starvation wage, will never catch up with the subsistence level.

ZheZhe Zaps Schröder

Check out ZheZhe’s excellent debunking of the outrageous actions of former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s efforts to assist the rise of the neo-Soviet Union for cash, pointing out the similarities between Schröder’s shameless propaganda campaign as a Kremlin employee and one that might be envisioned by the Nazi guru Josef Goebbels. That such analogies even occur to anyone in regard to a German so soon after the fall of Nazi Germany goes to prove that Germans need to become much more active in stopping their nefarious ex-leader from doing serious damage to world peace.