Daily Archives: July 26, 2007

July 26, 2007 — Contents

THURSDAY JULY 26 CONTENTS


(1) Russia is Africa

(2) The Horror of “Life” in Putin’s Russia

(3) Annals of “Pacified” Chechnya

(4) Blowin’ in the Russian Wind

NOTE: Amazingly, our backup blog on WordPress recently surpassed the 10,000 visit milestone. Apparently, there are those who simply prefer to view our content on the WordPress format even though it’s somewhat stale, and in addition the WordPress server makes the content available on additional search engines. LR itself recently surged past the 125,000 visit milestone.

Annals of Russian Barbarism: Zaire with Permafrost

Writing in the Moscow Times columnist and hero journalist Yulia Latynina (pictured) explains how Russia is just like Africa. Zaire, with permafrost.

In the mid-20th century, British-American anthropologist Colin Turnbull observed the Bambuti pygmies living in the Congo. As a result of the unusually thick African jungle, the Bambuti never saw anything from a great distance.

Turnbull didn’t suspect anything unusual in that until he took one of the tribesmen, the courageous young Kenzha, on a long journey. The first thing that astounded the pygmy upon seeing an open plain were buffaloes grazing in the distance. He asked Turnbull, “What sort of insects are those?” But when he got closer to the buffalo to show him the animal’s actual size, Kenzha was totally confused. How had the buffalo managed to grow so quickly? Or was this some sort of witchcraft?

Last week’s spat between Britain and Russia illustrates that the Kremlin’s view of the world fundamentally differs from the West’s — just as Kenzha’s perception differed from the anthropologist’s.

The British were deeply shaken by the use of radioactive materials in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. Scotland Yard implicated Andrei Lugovoi in the murder and demanded his extradition. Moscow refused. Britain expelled four Russian embassy staff members and made it more difficult for Russian officials to enter the country.

Moscow’s response to London is very similar to poor Kenzha’s reaction when he was told that the buffalo in the distance were not insects. He laughed loudly and started going on about the foolish white people who tried to force him to believe such nonsense. “I am not blind, after all!” Kenzha exclaimed.

What buffalo?! In fact, the situation is much more complex. It’s clear that the British don’t like Russia and fear the growing authority of Comrade Putin. And let’s not forget what kind of people we are dealing with in the West — after all, they are the ones who killed Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and poisoned Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic. And now they are harping on Russia and trying to pin the Litvinenko killing on Moscow.

It’s absolutely clear that the problem is not about Litvinenko. His murder was a private matter. Regardless of who rubbed out Litvinenko, it was self-exiled billionaire Boris Berezovsky, former Yukos co-owner Leonid Nevzlin and other various enemies of Russia who have created such a frenzy around this matter.

Of course, I am exaggerating, but it would appear that the fundamental problem in our relationship with the West is not that the Kremlin pretends that it doesn’t understand why London is demanding Lugovoi’s extradition. The problem is that the Kremlin is not pretending at all — it is completely sincere in its total lack of understanding of the situation.

Thus, the Kremlin and the West have completely different maps and perceptions of the world.

If the Kremlin truly understood that the distant buffalo were actually large, it would have settled down and softened its rhetoric. But what if the Kremlin sincerely believes that the entire problem with the Litvinenko affair is that the whole world is out to get Russia? Then it would be necessary to liquidate its enemies, in particular Berezovsky, who started all of these problems in the first place. And that is exactly what the Kremlin tried to do.

It should be noted that it took Kenzha only a few hours to understand that the buffaloes were the same size, whether viewed from a distance or close up. And what is most remarkable is that Kenzha didn’t even have at his command such resources as the FSB, state-run mass media or an army of friends who grew up with him in the jungle and later became high-ranking government officials. Kenzha did not have friends at his disposal to help him see through the deceit of the Western anthropologist who tried to pass off insects as buffalo.

These are friends whose current perceptions of the world have been formed since early childhood, and who now make all tribal policy regarding buffalo, open plains and the West.

The Horror of "Life" in Putin’s Russia

Blogger Tim Newman at White Sun of the Desert details the horrors of ordinary, day-to-day life in neo-Soviet Russia. There is no doubt that what Tim describes is flatly illegal under the Russian constitution, which guarantees freedom of movement and the right to live anywhere. But the propiska system continues despite the Constitution — yet the Kremlin does not hesitate to invoke claimed provisions of the Constitution on extradition in regard to Andrei Lugovoi. In other words, the Constitution exists when the Kremlin says it does.

One of my employees is a pleasant, reliable, and sober young man in his 20s, who works for us as a minibus driver. Finding a pleasant, reliable, and sober young man to work as a driver in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is akin to finding a pleasant, reliable, and sober builder in West Wales.

Unfortunately, it looks as though we’re going to have to get rid of him. His driving license expires next month, and in order to renew it he needs a permanent local address, where he is registered with the Russian authorities. In any normal country, a permanent address means anywhere which you are living, including a place you are legitimately renting. But in Russia, you can only get registration at an address if you own the property, or you were born into that address, i.e. your parents owned it. Our driver is from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, and was registered at his parents’ apartment for most of his life, but they sold the place and moved away, leaving him renting a place here. When they sold the place, they lost their registration at that address, and the new owners were entitled to register themselves there instead. My driver then found himself without a registered address in his home town, or indeed anywhere else.

In Russia, those who do not have a registered address are classed as homeless, or bums. In short, a tramp. That this chap has a job, a place to eat, and a bed to sleep in matters not to the Russian authorities: if he is not regsitered somewhere, he is homeless.

And if you are homeless, you cannot renew your driving license. And if he doesn’t have a driving license, he cannot work for me as a driver, and he loses his job. Insanity.

A commenter offers a solution: “Well, as for your fellow money will be the best solution for him – just to find the right person to give to…:)”

Truly, Russia is a barbaric nation.

The Horror of "Life" in Putin’s Russia

Blogger Tim Newman at White Sun of the Desert details the horrors of ordinary, day-to-day life in neo-Soviet Russia. There is no doubt that what Tim describes is flatly illegal under the Russian constitution, which guarantees freedom of movement and the right to live anywhere. But the propiska system continues despite the Constitution — yet the Kremlin does not hesitate to invoke claimed provisions of the Constitution on extradition in regard to Andrei Lugovoi. In other words, the Constitution exists when the Kremlin says it does.

One of my employees is a pleasant, reliable, and sober young man in his 20s, who works for us as a minibus driver. Finding a pleasant, reliable, and sober young man to work as a driver in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is akin to finding a pleasant, reliable, and sober builder in West Wales.

Unfortunately, it looks as though we’re going to have to get rid of him. His driving license expires next month, and in order to renew it he needs a permanent local address, where he is registered with the Russian authorities. In any normal country, a permanent address means anywhere which you are living, including a place you are legitimately renting. But in Russia, you can only get registration at an address if you own the property, or you were born into that address, i.e. your parents owned it. Our driver is from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, and was registered at his parents’ apartment for most of his life, but they sold the place and moved away, leaving him renting a place here. When they sold the place, they lost their registration at that address, and the new owners were entitled to register themselves there instead. My driver then found himself without a registered address in his home town, or indeed anywhere else.

In Russia, those who do not have a registered address are classed as homeless, or bums. In short, a tramp. That this chap has a job, a place to eat, and a bed to sleep in matters not to the Russian authorities: if he is not regsitered somewhere, he is homeless.

And if you are homeless, you cannot renew your driving license. And if he doesn’t have a driving license, he cannot work for me as a driver, and he loses his job. Insanity.

A commenter offers a solution: “Well, as for your fellow money will be the best solution for him – just to find the right person to give to…:)”

Truly, Russia is a barbaric nation.

The Horror of "Life" in Putin’s Russia

Blogger Tim Newman at White Sun of the Desert details the horrors of ordinary, day-to-day life in neo-Soviet Russia. There is no doubt that what Tim describes is flatly illegal under the Russian constitution, which guarantees freedom of movement and the right to live anywhere. But the propiska system continues despite the Constitution — yet the Kremlin does not hesitate to invoke claimed provisions of the Constitution on extradition in regard to Andrei Lugovoi. In other words, the Constitution exists when the Kremlin says it does.

One of my employees is a pleasant, reliable, and sober young man in his 20s, who works for us as a minibus driver. Finding a pleasant, reliable, and sober young man to work as a driver in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is akin to finding a pleasant, reliable, and sober builder in West Wales.

Unfortunately, it looks as though we’re going to have to get rid of him. His driving license expires next month, and in order to renew it he needs a permanent local address, where he is registered with the Russian authorities. In any normal country, a permanent address means anywhere which you are living, including a place you are legitimately renting. But in Russia, you can only get registration at an address if you own the property, or you were born into that address, i.e. your parents owned it. Our driver is from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, and was registered at his parents’ apartment for most of his life, but they sold the place and moved away, leaving him renting a place here. When they sold the place, they lost their registration at that address, and the new owners were entitled to register themselves there instead. My driver then found himself without a registered address in his home town, or indeed anywhere else.

In Russia, those who do not have a registered address are classed as homeless, or bums. In short, a tramp. That this chap has a job, a place to eat, and a bed to sleep in matters not to the Russian authorities: if he is not regsitered somewhere, he is homeless.

And if you are homeless, you cannot renew your driving license. And if he doesn’t have a driving license, he cannot work for me as a driver, and he loses his job. Insanity.

A commenter offers a solution: “Well, as for your fellow money will be the best solution for him – just to find the right person to give to…:)”

Truly, Russia is a barbaric nation.

The Horror of "Life" in Putin’s Russia

Blogger Tim Newman at White Sun of the Desert details the horrors of ordinary, day-to-day life in neo-Soviet Russia. There is no doubt that what Tim describes is flatly illegal under the Russian constitution, which guarantees freedom of movement and the right to live anywhere. But the propiska system continues despite the Constitution — yet the Kremlin does not hesitate to invoke claimed provisions of the Constitution on extradition in regard to Andrei Lugovoi. In other words, the Constitution exists when the Kremlin says it does.

One of my employees is a pleasant, reliable, and sober young man in his 20s, who works for us as a minibus driver. Finding a pleasant, reliable, and sober young man to work as a driver in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is akin to finding a pleasant, reliable, and sober builder in West Wales.

Unfortunately, it looks as though we’re going to have to get rid of him. His driving license expires next month, and in order to renew it he needs a permanent local address, where he is registered with the Russian authorities. In any normal country, a permanent address means anywhere which you are living, including a place you are legitimately renting. But in Russia, you can only get registration at an address if you own the property, or you were born into that address, i.e. your parents owned it. Our driver is from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, and was registered at his parents’ apartment for most of his life, but they sold the place and moved away, leaving him renting a place here. When they sold the place, they lost their registration at that address, and the new owners were entitled to register themselves there instead. My driver then found himself without a registered address in his home town, or indeed anywhere else.

In Russia, those who do not have a registered address are classed as homeless, or bums. In short, a tramp. That this chap has a job, a place to eat, and a bed to sleep in matters not to the Russian authorities: if he is not regsitered somewhere, he is homeless.

And if you are homeless, you cannot renew your driving license. And if he doesn’t have a driving license, he cannot work for me as a driver, and he loses his job. Insanity.

A commenter offers a solution: “Well, as for your fellow money will be the best solution for him – just to find the right person to give to…:)”

Truly, Russia is a barbaric nation.

The Horror of "Life" in Putin’s Russia

Blogger Tim Newman at White Sun of the Desert details the horrors of ordinary, day-to-day life in neo-Soviet Russia. There is no doubt that what Tim describes is flatly illegal under the Russian constitution, which guarantees freedom of movement and the right to live anywhere. But the propiska system continues despite the Constitution — yet the Kremlin does not hesitate to invoke claimed provisions of the Constitution on extradition in regard to Andrei Lugovoi. In other words, the Constitution exists when the Kremlin says it does.

One of my employees is a pleasant, reliable, and sober young man in his 20s, who works for us as a minibus driver. Finding a pleasant, reliable, and sober young man to work as a driver in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is akin to finding a pleasant, reliable, and sober builder in West Wales.

Unfortunately, it looks as though we’re going to have to get rid of him. His driving license expires next month, and in order to renew it he needs a permanent local address, where he is registered with the Russian authorities. In any normal country, a permanent address means anywhere which you are living, including a place you are legitimately renting. But in Russia, you can only get registration at an address if you own the property, or you were born into that address, i.e. your parents owned it. Our driver is from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, and was registered at his parents’ apartment for most of his life, but they sold the place and moved away, leaving him renting a place here. When they sold the place, they lost their registration at that address, and the new owners were entitled to register themselves there instead. My driver then found himself without a registered address in his home town, or indeed anywhere else.

In Russia, those who do not have a registered address are classed as homeless, or bums. In short, a tramp. That this chap has a job, a place to eat, and a bed to sleep in matters not to the Russian authorities: if he is not regsitered somewhere, he is homeless.

And if you are homeless, you cannot renew your driving license. And if he doesn’t have a driving license, he cannot work for me as a driver, and he loses his job. Insanity.

A commenter offers a solution: “Well, as for your fellow money will be the best solution for him – just to find the right person to give to…:)”

Truly, Russia is a barbaric nation.

Annals of "Pacified" Chechnya: The Blood Continues to Flow

The Moscow Times reports:

Federal forces clashed on Monday with a group of Chechen rebels holed up in the republic’s southern mountains, with casualties on both sides, Itar-Tass reported. A group of rebels answering directly to Chechen separatist leader Doku Umarov were battling federal troops in the mountains of the Vedensky district in southern Chechnya. It was unclear whether Umarov was among them. “Some bandits have been eliminated, and some are wounded,” an unidentified law enforcement source told Itar-Tass. Elsewhere in Chechnya at least 11 police officers were wounded in different clashes, officials said. In one attack late Sunday, several unidentified gunmen fired automatic weapons at a police patrol vehicle in the provincial capital, Grozny, wounding all five officers inside, Chechnya’s branch of the federal Interior Ministry said in a statement. The officers were hospitalized and the attackers fled, the statement said. Early Monday, a local officer was injured when an unidentified attacker fired a grenade launcher at his car in Grozny. Two more officers were wounded in a land mine explosion in the city Monday. Three policemen were also wounded in a rebel ambush in the southern Shali region Monday, the regional Interior Ministry said. A federal army soldier was wounded in a bombing attack in the southern Shatoi region Sunday, the ministry said.

Blowin’ in the Russian Wind

Blowin’ in the Russian Wind

after Bob Dylan

How many roads must a Russian walk down
Before he realizes he is lost?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a Russian buy a bomb
Before he sees he can’t pay the cost?
Yes, ‘n’ how many winters must he freeze in the dark
Before he is burned by the frost?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the Russian wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the Russian wind.

How many times must a Russian look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, ‘n’ how many ears must Vladimir Putin have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, ‘n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the Russian wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the Russian wind.

How many years can Siberia exist
Before it is grabbed by the Chinese?
Yes, ‘n’ how many years can some Russians exist
Before they get up off their knees?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a Vladimir Putin turn his head,
Pretending that nobody sees?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the Russian wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the Russian wind.

Blowin’ in the Russian Wind

Blowin’ in the Russian Wind

after Bob Dylan

How many roads must a Russian walk down
Before he realizes he is lost?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a Russian buy a bomb
Before he sees he can’t pay the cost?
Yes, ‘n’ how many winters must he freeze in the dark
Before he is burned by the frost?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the Russian wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the Russian wind.

How many times must a Russian look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, ‘n’ how many ears must Vladimir Putin have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, ‘n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the Russian wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the Russian wind.

How many years can Siberia exist
Before it is grabbed by the Chinese?
Yes, ‘n’ how many years can some Russians exist
Before they get up off their knees?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a Vladimir Putin turn his head,
Pretending that nobody sees?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the Russian wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the Russian wind.

Blowin’ in the Russian Wind

Blowin’ in the Russian Wind

after Bob Dylan

How many roads must a Russian walk down
Before he realizes he is lost?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a Russian buy a bomb
Before he sees he can’t pay the cost?
Yes, ‘n’ how many winters must he freeze in the dark
Before he is burned by the frost?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the Russian wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the Russian wind.

How many times must a Russian look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, ‘n’ how many ears must Vladimir Putin have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, ‘n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the Russian wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the Russian wind.

How many years can Siberia exist
Before it is grabbed by the Chinese?
Yes, ‘n’ how many years can some Russians exist
Before they get up off their knees?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a Vladimir Putin turn his head,
Pretending that nobody sees?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the Russian wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the Russian wind.

Blowin’ in the Russian Wind

Blowin’ in the Russian Wind

after Bob Dylan

How many roads must a Russian walk down
Before he realizes he is lost?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a Russian buy a bomb
Before he sees he can’t pay the cost?
Yes, ‘n’ how many winters must he freeze in the dark
Before he is burned by the frost?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the Russian wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the Russian wind.

How many times must a Russian look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, ‘n’ how many ears must Vladimir Putin have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, ‘n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the Russian wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the Russian wind.

How many years can Siberia exist
Before it is grabbed by the Chinese?
Yes, ‘n’ how many years can some Russians exist
Before they get up off their knees?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a Vladimir Putin turn his head,
Pretending that nobody sees?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the Russian wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the Russian wind.

Blowin’ in the Russian Wind

Blowin’ in the Russian Wind

after Bob Dylan

How many roads must a Russian walk down
Before he realizes he is lost?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a Russian buy a bomb
Before he sees he can’t pay the cost?
Yes, ‘n’ how many winters must he freeze in the dark
Before he is burned by the frost?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the Russian wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the Russian wind.

How many times must a Russian look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, ‘n’ how many ears must Vladimir Putin have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, ‘n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the Russian wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the Russian wind.

How many years can Siberia exist
Before it is grabbed by the Chinese?
Yes, ‘n’ how many years can some Russians exist
Before they get up off their knees?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a Vladimir Putin turn his head,
Pretending that nobody sees?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the Russian wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the Russian wind.