Daily Archives: July 9, 2007

July 9, 2007 — Contents

MONDAY JULY 9 CONTENTS


AN UNCIVILIZED COUNTRY: A SEVEN-PART SERIES CONCLUDES



(6) Wimbledon Roundup

NOTE: Today we offer a series of five posts under the rubric “An Uncivilized Country” which follow on and continue two posts we published on Saturday. These type of events are coming so fast and furious out of Russia that it’s all we can do to keep up with them. One can only gape slack-jawed in horror at the prospect of actually being a Russian citizen faced with life under these conditions. Then again, perhaps by now they’re used to it.

NOTE: Over the weekend, La Russophobe collected her 150th Technorati linking blog, and is just short of 2,000 links from linking blogs. Again, congratulations all around to contributors and readers alike.

An Uncivilized Country, Part III: They Send You to Prison for Talking Without Permission

Welcome to the Neo-Soviet Union, where talking without the Kremlin’s permission is a crime. Well, at least Zhirinovsky is happy. IOL reports:

Russia’s lower house of parliament approved legislative amendments on Friday that will broaden the definition of extremist crime to include offences committed for political and ideological motives. The amendments were seen by analysts and members of parliament as a precaution ahead of parliamentary elections in December and a presidential poll next March to choose a successor to President Vladimir Putin. “This law is needed to prevent a revolution,” said pro-Kremlin member of parliament Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the far-right Liberal Democratic party.

Under the amendments, a crime may be judged to have been committed for reasons of “political and ideological hatred,” in addition to racial or religious motives already taken account of by the law. Public order offences will be punishable by eight years in prison if “committed for ideological, political or racial motives.”

“Calls to extremism” could incur sentences of six years, instead of five at present. The police will also receive additional powers to tap telephones. The amendments were passed by 311 votes in favour with 90 against. They now go to the upper house of parliament, where they are expected to pass easily. They must then be signed off by President Vladimir Putin to come into force. The amendments come after opposition groups and campaigners demanded refinements to an extremism law passed last July.

But Vladimir Ryzhkov, one of the last independent deputies in a parliament largely loyal to the Kremlin, said the amendments did not answer campaigners’ demands. “The definition of extremism is very broad, enabling the inclusion of all criticism of the authorities. All the deputies in this hall could be punished for extremism,” Ryzhkov said. Ahead of the forthcoming elections, Russia has seen a series of demonstrations by a broad opposition coalition called The Other Russia, some of which have been violently dispersed. Critics at home and in the West accuse the Kremlin of rolling back democratic freedoms established after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, a charge Putin has rejected.

An Uncivilized Country, Part IV: They Don’t know the Meaning of the Word "Law"

Two recent examples highlight the extent of Russia’s barbaric, uncivilized nature. When it comes to justice, as far as Russians are concerned, the principles of the law simply do not apply to them except when they work in Russia’s favor. In other words, it’s exactly the same situation that obtained in the bad old Soviet days. How can the result for Russia be any different than what the USSR experienced? Why does Russia fear cooperation with the Yushchenko and Litvinenko investigations? Only one reason: That would more quickly expose Russia’s guilt. And it’s interesting to speculate about which form of guilt the Kremlin fears more: (a) State-sponsored murder and attempted murder; (b) the utterly incompetent, Keystone-cops-like way in which these venal, cowardly acts were carried out, indicative in microcosm of Russian society generally.

The BBC reports:

The Ukrainian prosecutor general has said Russia is not co-operating with his inquiry into the poisoning of President Victor Yushchenko in 2004. Oleksandr Medvedko said that despite two requests, Moscow had not provided a sample of dioxin, the poison given to Mr Yushchenko before he was elected. The highly dangerous toxin left his face badly disfigured and pockmarked.

An investigation into the attempted murder of Mr Yushchenko was opened, but no-one has ever been charged. Mr Yushchenko’s pro-Western allies have accused Russia of being behind the attempt to kill him, a charge Moscow denies.

‘No explanations’

Tests in late 2004 revealed that pure TCDD, the most harmful known dioxin, had been used on Mr Yushchenko. At a press conference in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, Mr Medvedko said only three countries in the world produced the chemical. He said a sample could point to the origin of the poison and that he had therefore asked for dioxin samples from these places. Mr Medvedko said his office had received samples from the UK and USA, but not yet from Russia. “We sent two letters asking for legal assistance in this sense, but there has been no positive result yet,” he said. “The Russian side is giving no explanations. They are keeping silent.” Mr Medvedko said he hoped to press the matter by holding talks with his Russian counterpart in the near future. Mr Yushchenko was poisoned shortly before he swept to power in the 2004 liberal Orange Revolution, which overturned Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych’s allegedly fraudulent election victory.

The BBC continues:

Russia has officially refused a UK extradition request for Andrei Lugovoi, the prime suspect in the murder of Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said the constitution did not allow for the extradition of its citizens. However, it said it would consider the possibility that Mr Lugovoi could be put on trial in Russia. UK-Russian relations have been strained since Mr Litvinenko died of exposure to the radioactive isotope polonium-210. UK officials have said they expect full co-operation from the Russian authorities in bringing the perpetrators to justice in Britain.

Inquiry ‘possible’

It has taken Russia five weeks to give an official response, although Prosecutor General Yuri Chayka has repeatedly said that no Russian national would stand trial in Britain. However, a statement from his office said Mr Lugovoi could be investigated “if the British side makes the corresponding inquiry and offers the necessary material for a criminal case”. Mr Lugovoi, himself a former Russian agent, denies the charges against him, and last month accused British secret services of being involved in the murder. He says that either MI6, fugitive Kremlin opponent Boris Berezovsky or the Russian mafia were behind the killing. The Russian Federal Security Service said last month that a criminal case had been opened based on remarks and information provided by Mr Lugovoi.


An Uncivilized Country, Part V: They Think Opposition Means Weakness

Russia still has a flickering candle of dissent. Can it become a bonfire? The Los Angeles Times reports:

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, now an opposition leader engaged in a high-stakes political match with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, gamely put the best face on a modest turnout at a recent protest rally. “There could have been many more people here if the authorities did not oppress people so much,” Kasparov told a crowd of about 1,500 at the mid-June rally in a downtown Moscow park. “The authorities feel instinctively that if they allow people to march, there will be 1,000, then 10,000, then 20,000, and then everyone will come to the street.” City officials had refused permission for a march to follow the rally, and there were more police in attendance than protesters. In April, police arrested hundreds of demonstrators from the same coalition, Other Russia, when they sought to stage an unauthorized march.

Kasparov and his allies appear at times to be trying to trigger what some have lightheartedly dubbed a “White Knight” revolution — a democratic ousting of the incumbent power structure following in the footsteps of Georgia’s 2003 Rose Revolution and Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution. The chess master and others say they are aiming at nothing less than winning the presidential election in March 2008. Putin consistently enjoys popularity ratings above 70%, but the Constitution requires him to step down next spring at the end of his second term. Most observers believe that voters, heavily influenced by state-controlled television, will endorse whomever Putin selects as his preferred successor.

Likely contenders

The two contenders seen as most likely to win the Kremlin’s nod are First Deputy Prime Ministers Dmitry Medvedev and Sergei B. Ivanov, who after many months of favorable coverage on state-controlled TV are now the country’s most popular politicians after Putin. The most visible potential opposition candidate is former Prime Minister Mikhail M. Kasyanov, who served during Putin’s first term. He turned against his former boss after being dismissed shortly before Putin’s 2004 reelection and now heads the People’s Democratic Union. Kasyanov, a founding leader of Other Russia, said Monday that the coalition had “fulfilled its mission,” and implied that he was pulling out of it. The move appeared to mark a bid for top leadership of an even broader opposition coalition that would choose him as its candidate. Kasyanov is “a very experienced and skilled negotiator” and he “will continue negotiations and consultations with other opposition forces with the goal to unite around a single candidate,” Tatyana Razbash, spokeswoman for Kasyanov, said Tuesday. Authorities appear nervous about the opposition. For the unauthorized April march in Moscow, 9,000 police officers were called out to control 3,000 protesters.

Range of complaints

The mid-June rally brought together demonstrators from across the political spectrum, including entrepreneurs, former Soviet-era dissidents, students, unhappy pensioners and flag-waving activists from a group that used to be called the National Bolshevik Party but was banned in the spring. “Everyone has their own personal complaint,” Kasparov said. “Issues related to tiny pensions, inflation, lack of freedom, lack of security.”

Businessman Mikhail Kriger, 47, said he attended “to express disagreement over a lot of things in the life of my country that affect my life. I want to see real news on our television,” he said. “I want to elect people in parliament who will really protect the interests of the people and not of a small group of corrupt individuals.” He also complained about the long war that Moscow fought against separatists in Chechnya, expressing fear that someday his son could be sent off to “another war that only suits their selfish goals.”

Kriger compared the rally with the minuscule opposition shown by Muscovites when the Soviet army moved into Afghanistan nearly three decades ago. “In 1979, only a dozen people came out to Red Square to protest against the invasion of Afghanistan, and most thought their protest was useless,” he said. “But a decade later hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets and squares of Moscow, and they toppled the regime.” Regime-toppling through elections was the focus of a June conference by Kasyanov’s group.

The former prime minister delivered a speech endorsing a wish list of popular policies, including massive housing subsidies, a return to free healthcare and free higher education, an end to the military draft, the defeat of inflation, encouragement of entrepreneurship, a crackdown on corruption, modernization of the country’s transport system, production of modern weapons for the army and tax cuts. He implied that the many costly items on that list could be paid for through wiser use of the country’s oil and tax revenues. Kasyanov also took aim at the tough line Moscow has taken with its neighbors and the West during Putin’s second term. “Just yesterday we were surrounded by friends, partners and allies,” he said, “and today we have nothing but enemies.” The conference nominated Kasyanov as its candidate to be the standard-bearer for a united opposition in the March presidential election. In keeping with the effort to unite all forces opposed to Putin, a wide range of politicians was invited to speak.

Unpronounceable threat

Among them was Eduard Limonov, a writer who heads the group formerly known as the National Bolshevik Party. Because the group is banned, with Russian newspapers technically not even supposed to print its name, Limonov is often introduced at opposition events as “leader of the nyelzya bolshe proiznosit party,” which means “the party that you are not allowed to pronounce anymore.” Limonov described Russia today as “a fascist corporate state” and endorsed Kasyanov for president.

The leadership council of Yabloko, a party that has long been prominent in the pro-democracy camp, said in mid-June that it planned to nominate its own leader, Grigory A. Yavlinsky, for president. Some saw that announcement as dooming the opposition’s hopes to field a single candidate. But Yavlinsky said it was still possible that “Yabloko might have a common candidate with other democratic forces, and it would be just great if this happened.”

Kasparov argues that, despite polls showing much greater support for potential Kremlin-endorsed successors, it is conceivable that an opposition candidate could end up winning in March. This is possible, he says, because Putin’s choice of a successor could trigger a backlash from whichever Kremlin factions see themselves as losers.

“The opposition is trying to make sure elections take place. That’s the No. 1 priority,” Kasparov said in an interview. “I mean elections — not a mockery, not a fake. Elections with debate, with some sort of publicity for opposition candidates, and elections with results that are not written and stamped beforehand.

Possible Kremlin split

If a truly open election campaign unfolds, “I think there’s a good chance that the Kremlin factions will split, because they hate each other more than the concept of democracy,” Kasparov said. “And they fear each other more than any of the opposition leaders.” Some analysts say that Kasyanov, as the former prime minister who presided over the government during what was widely seen as a successful first term for Putin, is well-positioned to draw support from Russia’s bureaucracy and political elite should Kremlin unity crack.

Other likely candidates include nationalist leader Vladimir V. Zhirinovsky and Communist Party leader Gennady A. Zyuganov. In a recent poll by the respected Levada Center, the potential Kremlin-backed candidates, Medvedev and Ivanov, were solidly out front of other possible contenders. Only 6% said they would vote for a liberal candidate supporting Western-style democracy, someone such as Kasyanov. Nevertheless, Other Russia is already having an effect by standing up to Putin and openly criticizing him, said Lev Ponomaryov, head of the Moscow-based For Human Rights organization. “Putin hates Other Russia because they are the only ones who come out into the streets and loudly say anti-Putin slogans,” Ponomaryov said. “Their main slogan is ‘Russia without Putin,’ and they keep repeating it publicly time and again.”

At the April march, Kasparov’s group gained helpful publicity when Russian and foreign media reported on police beating protesters. But at the conclusion of the mid-June rally, Kasparov noted the extremely heavy police presence and told protesters to simply go home rather than try to stage another unsanctioned march. Russia’s real political battle, he implied, will begin this autumn, when the presidential campaign begins in earnest. “It’s not our defeat,” he declared. “It’s our necessary preparation for this fall. This fall, they will run away, because fear is entering their hearts.”

An Uncivilized Country, Part VI: They Brainwash Their Children

Michael Hammerschlag, a journalist who lived in Russia from 1991 to 1994, reports on the horrors of the Nashi youth cult, the neo-Soviet komsomol, for the International Herald Tribune:

It’s official. To be patriotic in Russia is to be a fan of Putin, specifically a Putin Youth. During the celebration on June 12th of Independence Day (Russia from the Soviet Union in 1990), “the only groups allowed onto Red Square were the youth group Nashi” – which means “ours” – “the Young Guard and Young Russia,” according to Sergei, a Nashi supporter. Tickets were carefully dispensed only to the faithful near the Krasny Ploshad Metro from a truck, I finally discovered after questioning a dozen reluctant people holding the tickets.

The 120,000-odd Putin Youth members are perhaps the most creepy demonstration of Putin’s “Back to the Future” cult of personality – youth groups created, supported, and used by the Kremlin to harass, bully and intimidate opponents and critics. “The idea was to create an ideology based on a total devotion to the president and his course,” says a Kremlin adviser, Sergei Markov. Obsessed by the color revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia, the Kremlin decided to create their own loyal youth brigades.

During the campaign against Estonia in the most recent enemy-of-the-month club (Lithuania, Georgia, Poland, et al) for the heinous crime of moving a statue and some Soviet graves, the Nashi “kids” (who are 17 to 25 years old) so terrorized the Estonian Embassy that the ambassador and some istaff members fled the country. In Estonia itself, Russia-endorsed protests killed one and injured 99. While mild peaceful protests were brutally crushed by riot police, the violent Nashi youth were invited into the Kremlin to talk to Putin’s anointed successor, First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, about their methods, an indication of the firm government backing they receive. “They have their kitchens, toilets, electricity, buses. . . . It is clear that their actions are very well organized, financed and orchestrated,” said the Estonian ambassador, Marina Kaljurand.

A nationwide cellphone campaign – “call President Putin with a message of support” – was estimated to cost many millions of dollars.

On Red Square, the crowd broke down into five types: the missionaries – usually young girls, with scrubbed looks and religious zeal, doing good works for which they expected rewards; the provincials – the slightly rough-hewn youth who had glommed onto the orgs for a trip to the capital or some nationalistic sentiment; the suburbans, average-looking kids who wanted to be part of something larger; the professionals – the youth who realize in today’s Russia, United/Just Russia and Putin are the only game in town (in the old days they would belong to the Komsomol); and the goons – sharp-faced thugs who constantly scanned the crowd hoping for some trouble.

Once one penetrated the ticket and security entrance and the outside rows of metal detectors, the 50 square meter concert stage set up opposite Lenin’s Tomb was ringed with a line of brown suited soldiers, with only one narrow entrance. It was claustrophobic and unpleasant. They were there, of course, in the secured, ticketed, metal-detectored area to protect the precious Putin Youth from some imaginary foreign figment that might invisibly penetrate the area.

There is something deeply contemptible about propagandizing and poisoning the minds of the young, even more so when they are carelessly used as government shock troops to intimidate and bully critics. The government is now eating the seed corn of young minds for some cheap political advantage, a tactic of all dictatorships, which try to ensure their permanence by instilling robotic loyalty in the young, and Russia will pay for it for many years. The Putin Youth get to be punks, terrorizing foreigners and “traitors” with near complete impunity (a few $20 fines for attacking an ambassador), and receive training, free college and professional connections that can give them high-powered careers – a win-win situation, from their point of view.

Nashi also does positive campaigns to help children, poor and disabled, although Sergei scoffed at that. There is a feral intensity in their training and mission statements: energy, dominance, patriotism, optimism and passion mix in a wildly uneven stew that can be ugly and corrosive, but also occasionally admirable.

During an antigovernment rally on April 14th in Pushkinskaya Square, a few people cheered as kids on the roof of Izvestia threw off leaflets, but the cheers choked in their throats as they realized that the “protesters” were actually reactionary Young Guards tossing leaflets of derision and contempt. The kids were now the enemy.

While their methods are still mostly street theater, it’s probably only a matter of time before they graduate to more serious violence. Indeed, their recruiting boot camps feature paramilitary training to fight against fascists (which includes Estonia, Yabloko or anyone that has ever criticized Putin).

Another deeply disturbing government initiative is labeling critics “extremists” and criminals, another tactic of all serious totalitarian states. When you can criminalize criticism of the government, there is nothing you can’t get away with, and all remaining freedoms are hanging by a thread.


An Uncivilized Country, Part VII: They Have Secret Armies

Zee News reports on the new “Gazprom Army” that will operate outside the law and perhaps be controlled directly by Vladimir Putin:

Russian gas giant Gazprom and pipeline monopoly Transneft will be given the right to set up armed security forces under a bill passed by Russian lawmakers on Wednesday. The bill allows the two state-controlled companies to use guns and anti-riot equipment such as tear gas to prevent attacks on pipelines and other installations “necessary for state contracts.” Gazprom or Transneft Security Officers would also be given the same rules of engagement as state law-enforcement bodies, which are much broader than for private security companies. Russian pipelines have come under attack numerous times by separatist rebels and Islamist fighters in the war-torn north caucaus region and other parts of Russia in recent years. Critics said the bill would allow for the creation of private armies. “This law envisages the creation of corporate armies … we are opening a Pandora’s Box because there are other companies that will now strive to set up their own army,” said Gennady Gudkov, a lawmaker from the A Just Russia Party. Under current legislation, companies such as Gazprom and Transnet are only allowed to hire external security firms, which have limited rights on bearing and using weapons. The bill has now been sent to the Federation Council, the Upper House of Parliament, and will then be put before President Vladimir Putin for final approval.

Wimbledon Roundup: USA Kicked Russia’s Butt Big Time

Russia had three of the top four seeds in the girls singles draw at The Championships at Wimbledon this year, including the #1 and #2 seeds. Guess how many made it to the semi-finals. That’s right, zero. All were eliminated by lower-ranked non-Russians, and only two made it as far as the quarters. The semi-finals were contested by four non-Russians.

How about the ladies draw? Again, no Russian made it as far as the semi-finals in the ladies’ singles draw, despite Russia having three of the top eight seeds. #8 Anna Chakvetadeze was eliminated by a lower-ranked player in the third round, #5 Svetlana Kuznetsova was eliminated (in easy straight sets) in the quarter-finals by a lower-ranked player and #2 Maria Sharapova was eliminated in the fourth round, also by a lower-ranked player (in even easier straight sets). Sharapova, Russia’s best player on paper, humiliated herself for the second time this year in a grand slam event, getting blown off the court in a totally one-sided thrashing by a player not even ranked in the world’s top 20 that exposed her as the fraud she always has been, confirming emphatically that her prior title at Wimbledon was a freak occurrence. The same thing obtained in the ladies’ doubles draw, where only one Russian, Elena Likhovtseva, got as far as the quarter finals, where she was eliminated. Only once in history has a Russian woman defeated a non-Russian woman to win a grand slam event, and that Russian learned her game in the United States, lives there, and reached the finals of that event only after being saved from humiliating defeat by a rain delay.

So much for the so-called “dominance” of Russian female tennis players. It’s all illusion, just like economic prowess and democracy in Russia are illusions. And don’t forget that the Russian women are better than the Russian men; the women had a quarter-finalist in both singles and doubles, whilst the Russian men had a quarter-finalist in neither event.

Finally, check out the head-to-head comparison of the USA and Russia at The Championships. The USA wins in every singles category right down the line and three of five doubles categories. So much for Russian “dominance.” It’s in fact America that was dominant. America reached the finals in four of nine categories and won two titles; Russia reached the finals in only one category, which it one (it had 50% of the girls’ doubles team, a rather lowly achievement indeed).

———————-USA————-RUSSIA—-Head to Head Winner

Men’s Singles——–Quarters——Fourth Round———-USA

Women’s Singles—Winner———Quarters—————USA

Men’s Doubles——-Finals———-Second Round———-USA

Women’s Doubles—Semis———–Quarters————–USA

Mixed Doubles ——Third Round—-Semis—————–RUSSIA

Boy’s Singles———Winner———–Second Round———USA

Girl’s Singles———Finals————Quarters————-USA

Boy’s Doubles———Semis———–Quarters————-USA

Girl’s Doubles———Second Round———-Winner——–RUSSIA

Wimbledon Roundup: USA Kicked Russia’s Butt Big Time

Russia had three of the top four seeds in the girls singles draw at The Championships at Wimbledon this year, including the #1 and #2 seeds. Guess how many made it to the semi-finals. That’s right, zero. All were eliminated by lower-ranked non-Russians, and only two made it as far as the quarters. The semi-finals were contested by four non-Russians.

How about the ladies draw? Again, no Russian made it as far as the semi-finals in the ladies’ singles draw, despite Russia having three of the top eight seeds. #8 Anna Chakvetadeze was eliminated by a lower-ranked player in the third round, #5 Svetlana Kuznetsova was eliminated (in easy straight sets) in the quarter-finals by a lower-ranked player and #2 Maria Sharapova was eliminated in the fourth round, also by a lower-ranked player (in even easier straight sets). Sharapova, Russia’s best player on paper, humiliated herself for the second time this year in a grand slam event, getting blown off the court in a totally one-sided thrashing by a player not even ranked in the world’s top 20 that exposed her as the fraud she always has been, confirming emphatically that her prior title at Wimbledon was a freak occurrence. The same thing obtained in the ladies’ doubles draw, where only one Russian, Elena Likhovtseva, got as far as the quarter finals, where she was eliminated. Only once in history has a Russian woman defeated a non-Russian woman to win a grand slam event, and that Russian learned her game in the United States, lives there, and reached the finals of that event only after being saved from humiliating defeat by a rain delay.

So much for the so-called “dominance” of Russian female tennis players. It’s all illusion, just like economic prowess and democracy in Russia are illusions. And don’t forget that the Russian women are better than the Russian men; the women had a quarter-finalist in both singles and doubles, whilst the Russian men had a quarter-finalist in neither event.

Finally, check out the head-to-head comparison of the USA and Russia at The Championships. The USA wins in every singles category right down the line and three of five doubles categories. So much for Russian “dominance.” It’s in fact America that was dominant. America reached the finals in four of nine categories and won two titles; Russia reached the finals in only one category, which it one (it had 50% of the girls’ doubles team, a rather lowly achievement indeed).

———————-USA————-RUSSIA—-Head to Head Winner

Men’s Singles——–Quarters——Fourth Round———-USA

Women’s Singles—Winner———Quarters—————USA

Men’s Doubles——-Finals———-Second Round———-USA

Women’s Doubles—Semis———–Quarters————–USA

Mixed Doubles ——Third Round—-Semis—————–RUSSIA

Boy’s Singles———Winner———–Second Round———USA

Girl’s Singles———Finals————Quarters————-USA

Boy’s Doubles———Semis———–Quarters————-USA

Girl’s Doubles———Second Round———-Winner——–RUSSIA

Wimbledon Roundup: USA Kicked Russia’s Butt Big Time

Russia had three of the top four seeds in the girls singles draw at The Championships at Wimbledon this year, including the #1 and #2 seeds. Guess how many made it to the semi-finals. That’s right, zero. All were eliminated by lower-ranked non-Russians, and only two made it as far as the quarters. The semi-finals were contested by four non-Russians.

How about the ladies draw? Again, no Russian made it as far as the semi-finals in the ladies’ singles draw, despite Russia having three of the top eight seeds. #8 Anna Chakvetadeze was eliminated by a lower-ranked player in the third round, #5 Svetlana Kuznetsova was eliminated (in easy straight sets) in the quarter-finals by a lower-ranked player and #2 Maria Sharapova was eliminated in the fourth round, also by a lower-ranked player (in even easier straight sets). Sharapova, Russia’s best player on paper, humiliated herself for the second time this year in a grand slam event, getting blown off the court in a totally one-sided thrashing by a player not even ranked in the world’s top 20 that exposed her as the fraud she always has been, confirming emphatically that her prior title at Wimbledon was a freak occurrence. The same thing obtained in the ladies’ doubles draw, where only one Russian, Elena Likhovtseva, got as far as the quarter finals, where she was eliminated. Only once in history has a Russian woman defeated a non-Russian woman to win a grand slam event, and that Russian learned her game in the United States, lives there, and reached the finals of that event only after being saved from humiliating defeat by a rain delay.

So much for the so-called “dominance” of Russian female tennis players. It’s all illusion, just like economic prowess and democracy in Russia are illusions. And don’t forget that the Russian women are better than the Russian men; the women had a quarter-finalist in both singles and doubles, whilst the Russian men had a quarter-finalist in neither event.

Finally, check out the head-to-head comparison of the USA and Russia at The Championships. The USA wins in every singles category right down the line and three of five doubles categories. So much for Russian “dominance.” It’s in fact America that was dominant. America reached the finals in four of nine categories and won two titles; Russia reached the finals in only one category, which it one (it had 50% of the girls’ doubles team, a rather lowly achievement indeed).

———————-USA————-RUSSIA—-Head to Head Winner

Men’s Singles——–Quarters——Fourth Round———-USA

Women’s Singles—Winner———Quarters—————USA

Men’s Doubles——-Finals———-Second Round———-USA

Women’s Doubles—Semis———–Quarters————–USA

Mixed Doubles ——Third Round—-Semis—————–RUSSIA

Boy’s Singles———Winner———–Second Round———USA

Girl’s Singles———Finals————Quarters————-USA

Boy’s Doubles———Semis———–Quarters————-USA

Girl’s Doubles———Second Round———-Winner——–RUSSIA

Wimbledon Roundup: USA Kicked Russia’s Butt Big Time

Russia had three of the top four seeds in the girls singles draw at The Championships at Wimbledon this year, including the #1 and #2 seeds. Guess how many made it to the semi-finals. That’s right, zero. All were eliminated by lower-ranked non-Russians, and only two made it as far as the quarters. The semi-finals were contested by four non-Russians.

How about the ladies draw? Again, no Russian made it as far as the semi-finals in the ladies’ singles draw, despite Russia having three of the top eight seeds. #8 Anna Chakvetadeze was eliminated by a lower-ranked player in the third round, #5 Svetlana Kuznetsova was eliminated (in easy straight sets) in the quarter-finals by a lower-ranked player and #2 Maria Sharapova was eliminated in the fourth round, also by a lower-ranked player (in even easier straight sets). Sharapova, Russia’s best player on paper, humiliated herself for the second time this year in a grand slam event, getting blown off the court in a totally one-sided thrashing by a player not even ranked in the world’s top 20 that exposed her as the fraud she always has been, confirming emphatically that her prior title at Wimbledon was a freak occurrence. The same thing obtained in the ladies’ doubles draw, where only one Russian, Elena Likhovtseva, got as far as the quarter finals, where she was eliminated. Only once in history has a Russian woman defeated a non-Russian woman to win a grand slam event, and that Russian learned her game in the United States, lives there, and reached the finals of that event only after being saved from humiliating defeat by a rain delay.

So much for the so-called “dominance” of Russian female tennis players. It’s all illusion, just like economic prowess and democracy in Russia are illusions. And don’t forget that the Russian women are better than the Russian men; the women had a quarter-finalist in both singles and doubles, whilst the Russian men had a quarter-finalist in neither event.

Finally, check out the head-to-head comparison of the USA and Russia at The Championships. The USA wins in every singles category right down the line and three of five doubles categories. So much for Russian “dominance.” It’s in fact America that was dominant. America reached the finals in four of nine categories and won two titles; Russia reached the finals in only one category, which it one (it had 50% of the girls’ doubles team, a rather lowly achievement indeed).

———————-USA————-RUSSIA—-Head to Head Winner

Men’s Singles——–Quarters——Fourth Round———-USA

Women’s Singles—Winner———Quarters—————USA

Men’s Doubles——-Finals———-Second Round———-USA

Women’s Doubles—Semis———–Quarters————–USA

Mixed Doubles ——Third Round—-Semis—————–RUSSIA

Boy’s Singles———Winner———–Second Round———USA

Girl’s Singles———Finals————Quarters————-USA

Boy’s Doubles———Semis———–Quarters————-USA

Girl’s Doubles———Second Round———-Winner——–RUSSIA

Wimbledon Roundup: USA Kicked Russia’s Butt Big Time

Russia had three of the top four seeds in the girls singles draw at The Championships at Wimbledon this year, including the #1 and #2 seeds. Guess how many made it to the semi-finals. That’s right, zero. All were eliminated by lower-ranked non-Russians, and only two made it as far as the quarters. The semi-finals were contested by four non-Russians.

How about the ladies draw? Again, no Russian made it as far as the semi-finals in the ladies’ singles draw, despite Russia having three of the top eight seeds. #8 Anna Chakvetadeze was eliminated by a lower-ranked player in the third round, #5 Svetlana Kuznetsova was eliminated (in easy straight sets) in the quarter-finals by a lower-ranked player and #2 Maria Sharapova was eliminated in the fourth round, also by a lower-ranked player (in even easier straight sets). Sharapova, Russia’s best player on paper, humiliated herself for the second time this year in a grand slam event, getting blown off the court in a totally one-sided thrashing by a player not even ranked in the world’s top 20 that exposed her as the fraud she always has been, confirming emphatically that her prior title at Wimbledon was a freak occurrence. The same thing obtained in the ladies’ doubles draw, where only one Russian, Elena Likhovtseva, got as far as the quarter finals, where she was eliminated. Only once in history has a Russian woman defeated a non-Russian woman to win a grand slam event, and that Russian learned her game in the United States, lives there, and reached the finals of that event only after being saved from humiliating defeat by a rain delay.

So much for the so-called “dominance” of Russian female tennis players. It’s all illusion, just like economic prowess and democracy in Russia are illusions. And don’t forget that the Russian women are better than the Russian men; the women had a quarter-finalist in both singles and doubles, whilst the Russian men had a quarter-finalist in neither event.

Finally, check out the head-to-head comparison of the USA and Russia at The Championships. The USA wins in every singles category right down the line and three of five doubles categories. So much for Russian “dominance.” It’s in fact America that was dominant. America reached the finals in four of nine categories and won two titles; Russia reached the finals in only one category, which it one (it had 50% of the girls’ doubles team, a rather lowly achievement indeed).

———————-USA————-RUSSIA—-Head to Head Winner

Men’s Singles——–Quarters——Fourth Round———-USA

Women’s Singles—Winner———Quarters—————USA

Men’s Doubles——-Finals———-Second Round———-USA

Women’s Doubles—Semis———–Quarters————–USA

Mixed Doubles ——Third Round—-Semis—————–RUSSIA

Boy’s Singles———Winner———–Second Round———USA

Girl’s Singles———Finals————Quarters————-USA

Boy’s Doubles———Semis———–Quarters————-USA

Girl’s Doubles———Second Round———-Winner——–RUSSIA

July 8, 2007 — Contents

SUNDAY JULY 8 CONTENTS


(1) The Sunday Photos

(2) Annals of Neo-Soviet “Education”

(3) The Sunday Commentary: Putin’s Assault on Journalism

(4) The Sunday Funnies Part I

(5) The Sunday Funnies Part II

NOTE: La Russophobe wants to make a special effort to congratulate and thank the New York Review of Books for the brilliant and timely commentary they’ve just published and which we republish as item #3 above. This piece should be an example for the rest of the American media, which has been shamefully lacking in support for their beseiged colleagues in Russia. Way to go NYRB! You rock and rule!

NOTE: A few childish, illiterate Russophile morons seem to be surprised that their comments aren’t published when they violate our comment policy policy, which they obviously don’t care to read. They speak as if they own this blog and have a right to comment on it. In other words, they’re quite insane. One would think that they would be intelligent enough to realize that if we are generous enough to give them a voice here, they should tread carefully and not abuse their privilege. But whenever one thinks such things about Russophile trash, one is always disappointed.

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