Daily Archives: March 14, 2007

What about Safronov? And, what about ALL THE OTHERS!

The bilingual zaxi blog has the following fascinating commentary on the demise of Kommersant reporter Ivan Safronov (pictured):

As The Economist reasonably points out: “Buying a bag of oranges is an odd thing to do before jumping out of the fifth-floor window of an apartment block.”

So is falling out of that particular stairwell window – leaving the oranges scattered on the ground – when your apartment is down on the third floor. So is the emergency number operator telling the kids who heard (!) the fall to call back later. And so is the police labeling Kommersant reporter Ivanov Safronov’s death a “forcible suicide.”

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The Sunday Times on the Putin Killings

The Sunday Times offers the following analysis of the Putin killings. Will Putin become the next Pinochet, ultimately hounded and arrested when his crimes are discovered, unable to travel outside Russia? Or will he consolidate his power and rule throughout his life, the way the old Soviets did?LR notes that a huge number of her British readers have alerted her to the existence of this story by e-mail, indicating that the two reporters here, online.editor@timesonline.co.uk and express their admiration and praise, too often overlooked for journalists. As well, LR suggests you click through to the Times link for the story above, as the article has a forum attached where you can leave your comments on the pages of the mighty Times of London.

FOR one Russian journalist, a recent spate of murders and poisonings has become terrifyingly personal. Maria Ivanova is fleeing home this week for a new life abroad after being promised political asylum in America.

The award-winning journalist, an expert on the Caucasus region, had grown used to being followed and harassed, even beaten up on one occasion. But events took a sinister turn last October when an intruder broke into her flat while she was away.

She changed the locks, had a cup of coffee and went to bed. “I woke up in terrible pain early in the morning,” she said. “There was practically no skin left on my mouth, only bare flesh. The same thing happened to my fingers. My skin just started peeling off.” Her body swelled and she was rushed to hospital, where kidney failure was diagnosed.

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Russia Leads the World . . . in Computer Fraud

Another map of failure for neo-Soviet Russia (unless, of course, you are a criminal or wish to become one). PC Advisor reports that “a map unveiled by McAfee and based on data from its SiteAdvisor service marks Russia and Romania as the countries whose domains are most likely to host ‘drive-by’ exploits.” More evidence that, as in most things apart from oil and weapons production, Russia is a corrupt banana republic. PC Advisor states:

“When it comes to safety, it turns out that the web is no different than the physical world. There are safe neighbourhoods and safe web domains, and then there are places no one should ever visit,” said Mark Maxwell, a McAfee senior product manager. Of the major top-level country domains, 5.6 percent of the sites in Romania (.ro) and 4.5 percent of those for Russia (.ru) were among the riskiest, said McAfee. The two nations also placed second and third, respectively, in the percentage of their country domains that host malicious code.

And so it goes in neo-Soviet Russia.

Exposing the Russophile Liars

One of the most ridiculous lies put forth by the Russophile maniacs is that Russia gets criticized for things America doesn’t. Robert Amsterdam recently published a poll which clearly shows how ridiculous this claim is. Russia’s image in the polls is actually a bit higher than that of America. If anything, it’s America which is getting the short end of the stick.

Did you ever notice that when the topic of discussion is something like violence or corruption or anti-democratic behavior, then Russia is just a “normal developing state” like Brazil or Mexico — but when the topic is membership in G-8 or the U.N. Security Council or being treated like an equal by the United States, then Russia is an “energy superpower” with lots of Nobel prizes and ICBMs and cosmonauts?

It’s this kind of “thinking” that brought the USSR to its knees, and it will just as surely destroy Russia if the Russians don’t put a stop to it.

Russian Post Office Still Hopelessly Incompetent

Global Voices translates a post from the Russian blogophere and observes “it takes roughly ten hours to travel from Moscow, Russia, to Kyiv, Ukraine, by train. But a letter sent via Air Mail from Moscow will most likely reach Kyiv in ten days. It becomes obvious right away why it takes three days for a package from the States to reach Russia, and then a month to reach the addressee in Moscow.” Obvious indeed: The utter failure of the government imposed by the malignant little troll in the Kremlin. Welcome to the Neo-Soviet Union!

March 13, 2007 — Contents


NOTE: If you click the “contents” label on any Contents entry, you will bring up a complete listing in chronological order of all the tables of contents published so far, each with a hyperlink for every post in that issue, allowing ongoing review of the contents of this blog in a convenient manner.

(1) Listening to Professor Ethan S. Burger

(2) Kasparov Speaks on the Piter Protest

(3) Russia Journal Returns!

(4) Check out LR’s latest Installment on Publius Pundit

(5) Tracking the SL Interviews