Daily Archives: June 23, 2007

June 23, 2007 — Contents

SATURDAY JUNE 23 CONTENTS


(1) Putin’s Glorious Country is #3 in the World . . . in Suicides

(2) U.S. Congress Condemns Putin’s Murderous Regime

(3) Communism, not its Reform, Caused Russia’s Current Pain

(4) Annals of Russian “Sportsmanship”

Putin’s Glorious, Resurgent, Wealthy Russia is World #3 . . . in Suicides Per Capita

34
Russian Suicide Rate Per 100,000 people

11
American Suicide Rate Per 100,000 people

When was the last time you heard “President” Vladimir Putin give a speech about Russia’s suicide problem? Does he even know about it? The Moscow Times reports:

Russian Internet forums and communities abound with people looking for easy ways to commit suicide and inviting others to join them. Popular blog site LiveJournal.com alone has 124 Russian-language communities interested in suicide, with names like Self-Killers Club, Suicide World, and Suicide Truth. The Russian Internet is teeming with chat rooms and forums to discuss the issue, such as Last-limit.narod.ru, Pagesofpain.narod.ru and Danaja666.narod.ru. Many communities and forums say their goal is suicide prevention, but visits over several days found people eagerly exchanging information on how to commit suicide and find a suicide partner. “Somebody help me, advise me how to accomplish a certain suicide with medicine,” says a comment posted in the LiveJournal community Suicid_mir. One of the answers to the request reads: “I don’t think drugs [are best], most likely [jumping] from a high floor [will do]. I am replying to you because I am looking for someone to accompany me. I am scared to do it alone, but together would be easier, I believe.”

The dark deliberations come as no surprise to demographers, who say Russian speakers are more likely to commit suicide than any other group on Earth. Russia has the third-highest suicide rate in the world, with 32* people in every 100,000 killing themselves per year, according to the State Statistics Service figures from 2005, the most recent year available. The leader is Lithuania, followed by Belarus. Since 1970, the number of people committing suicide in Russia has surpassed the number dying from accidental alcohol poisoning or murders. Twenty-nine people in 100,000 now die from alcohol poisoning every year, and 25 per 100,000 are murdered, according to State Statistics Service.

The suicide rate remains high in large part due to a lack of close-knit networks of families and friends throughout much of the country and a near-complete absence of crisis centers offering free counseling. Private counseling is too expensive for many, costing an average of 1,000 rubles per hour. “There are few of these centers in big cities, while in small towns people have nowhere to go if they are depressed or are in low spirits,” said Gontmakher of the Social Policy Center. He said he advocated the creation of a hotline for psychological assistance modeled after the “02” phone number for police and “03” for an ambulance. Moscow has 10 crisis hotlines offering free counseling, and St. Petersburg has four, according to Yellowpages.ru. But most of the hotlines keep strict hours and are aimed as specific groups, such as HIV-positive people, victims of domestic violence, drug users and gays — not just anyone contemplating suicide.

Svetlana Marinich, a St. Petersburg therapist who has manned a crisis hotline for the city’s Petrodvorets district for two years, said she gets a suicide call once every few months. “Mostly they are teenagers and young people who call with such thoughts after an unfortunate romance,” she said. Many other calls come from lonely pensioners, Marinich said. Marinich noted that women are more likely to attempt suicide, but men are more likely to succeed.

*LR: This figure — 32/100,000 — while still breathtakingly high, is based on Kremlin-crunched data and is lower than what the international ratings agency WHO records for Russia (the figure given in the graphic at the top of the post). Both figures are taken from the Moscow Times source material which you can see by clicking through to the link.

Putin’s Glorious, Resurgent, Wealthy Russia is World #3 . . . in Suicides Per Capita

34
Russian Suicide Rate Per 100,000 people

11
American Suicide Rate Per 100,000 people

When was the last time you heard “President” Vladimir Putin give a speech about Russia’s suicide problem? Does he even know about it? The Moscow Times reports:

Russian Internet forums and communities abound with people looking for easy ways to commit suicide and inviting others to join them. Popular blog site LiveJournal.com alone has 124 Russian-language communities interested in suicide, with names like Self-Killers Club, Suicide World, and Suicide Truth. The Russian Internet is teeming with chat rooms and forums to discuss the issue, such as Last-limit.narod.ru, Pagesofpain.narod.ru and Danaja666.narod.ru. Many communities and forums say their goal is suicide prevention, but visits over several days found people eagerly exchanging information on how to commit suicide and find a suicide partner. “Somebody help me, advise me how to accomplish a certain suicide with medicine,” says a comment posted in the LiveJournal community Suicid_mir. One of the answers to the request reads: “I don’t think drugs [are best], most likely [jumping] from a high floor [will do]. I am replying to you because I am looking for someone to accompany me. I am scared to do it alone, but together would be easier, I believe.”

The dark deliberations come as no surprise to demographers, who say Russian speakers are more likely to commit suicide than any other group on Earth. Russia has the third-highest suicide rate in the world, with 32* people in every 100,000 killing themselves per year, according to the State Statistics Service figures from 2005, the most recent year available. The leader is Lithuania, followed by Belarus. Since 1970, the number of people committing suicide in Russia has surpassed the number dying from accidental alcohol poisoning or murders. Twenty-nine people in 100,000 now die from alcohol poisoning every year, and 25 per 100,000 are murdered, according to State Statistics Service.

The suicide rate remains high in large part due to a lack of close-knit networks of families and friends throughout much of the country and a near-complete absence of crisis centers offering free counseling. Private counseling is too expensive for many, costing an average of 1,000 rubles per hour. “There are few of these centers in big cities, while in small towns people have nowhere to go if they are depressed or are in low spirits,” said Gontmakher of the Social Policy Center. He said he advocated the creation of a hotline for psychological assistance modeled after the “02” phone number for police and “03” for an ambulance. Moscow has 10 crisis hotlines offering free counseling, and St. Petersburg has four, according to Yellowpages.ru. But most of the hotlines keep strict hours and are aimed as specific groups, such as HIV-positive people, victims of domestic violence, drug users and gays — not just anyone contemplating suicide.

Svetlana Marinich, a St. Petersburg therapist who has manned a crisis hotline for the city’s Petrodvorets district for two years, said she gets a suicide call once every few months. “Mostly they are teenagers and young people who call with such thoughts after an unfortunate romance,” she said. Many other calls come from lonely pensioners, Marinich said. Marinich noted that women are more likely to attempt suicide, but men are more likely to succeed.

*LR: This figure — 32/100,000 — while still breathtakingly high, is based on Kremlin-crunched data and is lower than what the international ratings agency WHO records for Russia (the figure given in the graphic at the top of the post). Both figures are taken from the Moscow Times source material which you can see by clicking through to the link.

Putin’s Glorious, Resurgent, Wealthy Russia is World #3 . . . in Suicides Per Capita

34
Russian Suicide Rate Per 100,000 people

11
American Suicide Rate Per 100,000 people

When was the last time you heard “President” Vladimir Putin give a speech about Russia’s suicide problem? Does he even know about it? The Moscow Times reports:

Russian Internet forums and communities abound with people looking for easy ways to commit suicide and inviting others to join them. Popular blog site LiveJournal.com alone has 124 Russian-language communities interested in suicide, with names like Self-Killers Club, Suicide World, and Suicide Truth. The Russian Internet is teeming with chat rooms and forums to discuss the issue, such as Last-limit.narod.ru, Pagesofpain.narod.ru and Danaja666.narod.ru. Many communities and forums say their goal is suicide prevention, but visits over several days found people eagerly exchanging information on how to commit suicide and find a suicide partner. “Somebody help me, advise me how to accomplish a certain suicide with medicine,” says a comment posted in the LiveJournal community Suicid_mir. One of the answers to the request reads: “I don’t think drugs [are best], most likely [jumping] from a high floor [will do]. I am replying to you because I am looking for someone to accompany me. I am scared to do it alone, but together would be easier, I believe.”

The dark deliberations come as no surprise to demographers, who say Russian speakers are more likely to commit suicide than any other group on Earth. Russia has the third-highest suicide rate in the world, with 32* people in every 100,000 killing themselves per year, according to the State Statistics Service figures from 2005, the most recent year available. The leader is Lithuania, followed by Belarus. Since 1970, the number of people committing suicide in Russia has surpassed the number dying from accidental alcohol poisoning or murders. Twenty-nine people in 100,000 now die from alcohol poisoning every year, and 25 per 100,000 are murdered, according to State Statistics Service.

The suicide rate remains high in large part due to a lack of close-knit networks of families and friends throughout much of the country and a near-complete absence of crisis centers offering free counseling. Private counseling is too expensive for many, costing an average of 1,000 rubles per hour. “There are few of these centers in big cities, while in small towns people have nowhere to go if they are depressed or are in low spirits,” said Gontmakher of the Social Policy Center. He said he advocated the creation of a hotline for psychological assistance modeled after the “02” phone number for police and “03” for an ambulance. Moscow has 10 crisis hotlines offering free counseling, and St. Petersburg has four, according to Yellowpages.ru. But most of the hotlines keep strict hours and are aimed as specific groups, such as HIV-positive people, victims of domestic violence, drug users and gays — not just anyone contemplating suicide.

Svetlana Marinich, a St. Petersburg therapist who has manned a crisis hotline for the city’s Petrodvorets district for two years, said she gets a suicide call once every few months. “Mostly they are teenagers and young people who call with such thoughts after an unfortunate romance,” she said. Many other calls come from lonely pensioners, Marinich said. Marinich noted that women are more likely to attempt suicide, but men are more likely to succeed.

*LR: This figure — 32/100,000 — while still breathtakingly high, is based on Kremlin-crunched data and is lower than what the international ratings agency WHO records for Russia (the figure given in the graphic at the top of the post). Both figures are taken from the Moscow Times source material which you can see by clicking through to the link.

Putin’s Glorious, Resurgent, Wealthy Russia is World #3 . . . in Suicides Per Capita

34
Russian Suicide Rate Per 100,000 people

11
American Suicide Rate Per 100,000 people

When was the last time you heard “President” Vladimir Putin give a speech about Russia’s suicide problem? Does he even know about it? The Moscow Times reports:

Russian Internet forums and communities abound with people looking for easy ways to commit suicide and inviting others to join them. Popular blog site LiveJournal.com alone has 124 Russian-language communities interested in suicide, with names like Self-Killers Club, Suicide World, and Suicide Truth. The Russian Internet is teeming with chat rooms and forums to discuss the issue, such as Last-limit.narod.ru, Pagesofpain.narod.ru and Danaja666.narod.ru. Many communities and forums say their goal is suicide prevention, but visits over several days found people eagerly exchanging information on how to commit suicide and find a suicide partner. “Somebody help me, advise me how to accomplish a certain suicide with medicine,” says a comment posted in the LiveJournal community Suicid_mir. One of the answers to the request reads: “I don’t think drugs [are best], most likely [jumping] from a high floor [will do]. I am replying to you because I am looking for someone to accompany me. I am scared to do it alone, but together would be easier, I believe.”

The dark deliberations come as no surprise to demographers, who say Russian speakers are more likely to commit suicide than any other group on Earth. Russia has the third-highest suicide rate in the world, with 32* people in every 100,000 killing themselves per year, according to the State Statistics Service figures from 2005, the most recent year available. The leader is Lithuania, followed by Belarus. Since 1970, the number of people committing suicide in Russia has surpassed the number dying from accidental alcohol poisoning or murders. Twenty-nine people in 100,000 now die from alcohol poisoning every year, and 25 per 100,000 are murdered, according to State Statistics Service.

The suicide rate remains high in large part due to a lack of close-knit networks of families and friends throughout much of the country and a near-complete absence of crisis centers offering free counseling. Private counseling is too expensive for many, costing an average of 1,000 rubles per hour. “There are few of these centers in big cities, while in small towns people have nowhere to go if they are depressed or are in low spirits,” said Gontmakher of the Social Policy Center. He said he advocated the creation of a hotline for psychological assistance modeled after the “02” phone number for police and “03” for an ambulance. Moscow has 10 crisis hotlines offering free counseling, and St. Petersburg has four, according to Yellowpages.ru. But most of the hotlines keep strict hours and are aimed as specific groups, such as HIV-positive people, victims of domestic violence, drug users and gays — not just anyone contemplating suicide.

Svetlana Marinich, a St. Petersburg therapist who has manned a crisis hotline for the city’s Petrodvorets district for two years, said she gets a suicide call once every few months. “Mostly they are teenagers and young people who call with such thoughts after an unfortunate romance,” she said. Many other calls come from lonely pensioners, Marinich said. Marinich noted that women are more likely to attempt suicide, but men are more likely to succeed.

*LR: This figure — 32/100,000 — while still breathtakingly high, is based on Kremlin-crunched data and is lower than what the international ratings agency WHO records for Russia (the figure given in the graphic at the top of the post). Both figures are taken from the Moscow Times source material which you can see by clicking through to the link.

Putin’s Glorious, Resurgent, Wealthy Russia is World #3 . . . in Suicides Per Capita

34
Russian Suicide Rate Per 100,000 people

11
American Suicide Rate Per 100,000 people

When was the last time you heard “President” Vladimir Putin give a speech about Russia’s suicide problem? Does he even know about it? The Moscow Times reports:

Russian Internet forums and communities abound with people looking for easy ways to commit suicide and inviting others to join them. Popular blog site LiveJournal.com alone has 124 Russian-language communities interested in suicide, with names like Self-Killers Club, Suicide World, and Suicide Truth. The Russian Internet is teeming with chat rooms and forums to discuss the issue, such as Last-limit.narod.ru, Pagesofpain.narod.ru and Danaja666.narod.ru. Many communities and forums say their goal is suicide prevention, but visits over several days found people eagerly exchanging information on how to commit suicide and find a suicide partner. “Somebody help me, advise me how to accomplish a certain suicide with medicine,” says a comment posted in the LiveJournal community Suicid_mir. One of the answers to the request reads: “I don’t think drugs [are best], most likely [jumping] from a high floor [will do]. I am replying to you because I am looking for someone to accompany me. I am scared to do it alone, but together would be easier, I believe.”

The dark deliberations come as no surprise to demographers, who say Russian speakers are more likely to commit suicide than any other group on Earth. Russia has the third-highest suicide rate in the world, with 32* people in every 100,000 killing themselves per year, according to the State Statistics Service figures from 2005, the most recent year available. The leader is Lithuania, followed by Belarus. Since 1970, the number of people committing suicide in Russia has surpassed the number dying from accidental alcohol poisoning or murders. Twenty-nine people in 100,000 now die from alcohol poisoning every year, and 25 per 100,000 are murdered, according to State Statistics Service.

The suicide rate remains high in large part due to a lack of close-knit networks of families and friends throughout much of the country and a near-complete absence of crisis centers offering free counseling. Private counseling is too expensive for many, costing an average of 1,000 rubles per hour. “There are few of these centers in big cities, while in small towns people have nowhere to go if they are depressed or are in low spirits,” said Gontmakher of the Social Policy Center. He said he advocated the creation of a hotline for psychological assistance modeled after the “02” phone number for police and “03” for an ambulance. Moscow has 10 crisis hotlines offering free counseling, and St. Petersburg has four, according to Yellowpages.ru. But most of the hotlines keep strict hours and are aimed as specific groups, such as HIV-positive people, victims of domestic violence, drug users and gays — not just anyone contemplating suicide.

Svetlana Marinich, a St. Petersburg therapist who has manned a crisis hotline for the city’s Petrodvorets district for two years, said she gets a suicide call once every few months. “Mostly they are teenagers and young people who call with such thoughts after an unfortunate romance,” she said. Many other calls come from lonely pensioners, Marinich said. Marinich noted that women are more likely to attempt suicide, but men are more likely to succeed.

*LR: This figure — 32/100,000 — while still breathtakingly high, is based on Kremlin-crunched data and is lower than what the international ratings agency WHO records for Russia (the figure given in the graphic at the top of the post). Both figures are taken from the Moscow Times source material which you can see by clicking through to the link.

U.S. Congress Condemns Putin’s Murderous Regime

As Robert Amsterdam reports, the U.S. Congress has officially condemned Russia’s barbaric “Murder Incorporated” Kremlin mafia regime, spitting right in the face of a delegation from the Russian Duma which is about to visit. This is Vladimir Putin’s doing. He’s alienated and provoked the world’s most powerful state into a new cold war Russia can’t even survive much less wage. And the people of Russia have authorized him to do it. Here’s the text of the resolution:

Whereas Paul Klebnikov, the editor of the Russian version of Forbes Magazine, who was investigating suspect business dealings and corruption cases in Russia, was shot to death in Moscow on July 9, 2004;

Whereas Mr. Klebnikov’s murder remains unsolved;

Whereas Anna Politkovskaya, an acclaimed Russian journalist and human rights activist who wrote numerous articles critical of Russia’s prosecution of the war in Chechnya, of human rights abuses by the Russian government and of Russian President Vladimir Putin was shot to death in Moscow on October 7, 2006;

Whereas Ms. Politkovskaya’s murder remains unsolved;

Whereas Ivan Safronov, a military affairs reporter for the Russian newspaper `Kommersant’ who wrote articles criticizing the failure of Russian military programs and who was planning to report on potential Russian arms sales to Middle Eastern countries, including to state sponsors of terrorism Iran and Syria, died in mysterious circumstances, falling five stories from a window in the stairwell of his apartment building in Moscow on March 2, 2007;

Whereas, Russian prosecutors subsequently suggested that Mr. Safronov may have committed suicide, although he left no suicide note and the circumstances surrounding his death raised unanswered questions;

Whereas the cause of Mr. Safronov’s death remains undetermined;

Whereas, according to Reporters Without Borders, twenty-one reporters have been murdered in Russia since March 2000 and many of those murders remain unsolved;

Whereas, according to Reporters Without Borders, Russia was one of the six most dangerous countries for journalists to work in during 2006;

Whereas a number of those reporters who were murdered had reported on alleged corruption, malfeasance and other controversies at the federal, provincial and local levels of government in Russia;

Whereas a number of those murdered had reported on alleged human rights abuses by the Russian Government;

Whereas a number of those murdered had reported on the Russian government’s conduct of the war in Chechnya, which has involved numerous allegations of gross human rights violations and corruption;

Whereas, if journalists are killed or silenced through undue pressure with impunity, a vibrant and participatory civil society sector cannot emerge and democratic developments are stalled; and

Whereas, according to the President of the International News Safety Institute, `murder has become the easiest, cheapest and most effective way of silencing troublesome reporting, and the more the killers get away with it the more the spiral of death is forced upwards’: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress–

(1) recalls the essential role that transparency and the free flow of information play in creating and preserving democratic institutions and civil society in any country;

(2) recognizes the vital contribution made by independent journalists in Russia in bringing transparency and a free flow of information to readers after decades of Communist censorship and repression;

(3) notes the disturbing trend of murders of independent journalists in Russia over the last decade;

(4) encourages the President of the United States to formally offer Russian President Vladimir Putin and other officials of the Russian Government United States Government law enforcement investigative assistance to help identify and bring to justice those responsible for the many unsolved murders of journalists in Russia during the past decade; and

(5) urges President Putin to seek out competent, outside law enforcement assistance in the investigation of the unsolved murders of numerous independent journalists in Russia.

Passed the House of Representatives June 18, 2007.