Daily Archives: August 6, 2007

August 6, 2007 — Contents

MONDAY AUGUST 6 CONTENTS


(1) Annals of “Pacified” Chechnya

(2) Don’t Let Toxic Russia Grab the Arctic!

(3) Editorial: Siberian Light — Tsk, tsk, tsk!

(4) Annals of Russian . . . golf?

(5) Annals of Russian Tennis

August 6, 2007 — Contents

MONDAY AUGUST 6 CONTENTS


(1) Annals of “Pacified” Chechnya

(2) Don’t Let Toxic Russia Grab the Arctic!

(3) Editorial: Siberian Light — Tsk, tsk, tsk!

(4) Annals of Russian . . . golf?

(5) Annals of Russian Tennis

Annals of "Pacified" Chechnya: Where Are Their Children?

The Washington Post reports more proof of how Vladimir Putin has made the Chechnya region into a peaceful, prosperous part of his country, the perfect place to hold the 2014 Olympic Games:

MAKHACHKALA, Russia. About 50 women occupied a central square in this provincial Russian capital on Friday, declaring a hunger strike and vowing not to leave until authorities tell them what happened to their missing children. Police tried to break up the protest, staged by a group calling itself the Mothers of Dagestan, but the women refused to disband, said Svetlana Isayeva, one of the protesters. She said they will not eat until their demands for information and a meeting with the region’s president are met. Police tried to break up the protest because the protesters did not have a permit for the central square, Shamil Guseinov, a senior Dagestani police officer, told The Associated Press. Authorities approved the demonstration for another part of the city, he said.

The president of Dagestan, Mukhu Aliev, admitted last month that 76 people have been kidnapped so far this year in Dagestan. In six of those cases, the abductors wore camouflage uniforms similar to those worn by law enforcement officers. At least 20 young men and women are believed to have been kidnapped by uniform-wearing armed men since April alone, Isayeva said.

Raigonat Shurpaeva, another mother, said her son Malik, 26, failed to return home from work in a car repair shop in December 2004, leaving behind a wife and child. “We’ll be here until they tell us whether our children are dead or alive,” she said. Some of the missing men attended mosques that are not controlled by government-sanctioned Muslim clergy. The mother’s group said authorities have accused some unsanctioned clergy of preaching the fundamentalist Wahhabi strain of Islam. Isayeva said masked men seized her 26-year-old son near the family’s apartment in late April, as they rounded up suspected Islamic militants. She has not seen him since.

Authorities, she said, claim not to know what happened to her son, won’t investigate and suggest he may have joined a terrorist group. “The Interior Ministry says our children are criminals,” she said. “But they fail to prove it.” Dagestan, located on the Caspian Sea in Russia’s North Caucasus region, has been plagued by shootings, bombings and other violence, some spilling over from neighboring Chechnya and some stemming from local crime.

Don’t Let Toxic Russia Get it’s Claws into the Arctic

A scorching opinion piece from the Times of London exposes the true horror that underlies Russia’s arctic imperialism:

It was often said, by half-hearted western Soviet apologists back in the 1970s, that one should wonder not why Russia was so badly ruled, but marvel that it could be ruled at all.

I always assumed that this was a reference to the geographical magnitude of the country and its diffuse ethnic mix, rather than an insinuation that Russians themselves were genetically predisposed towards incompetent and vicious autocracies. Might have to think again, though. A good proportion of that geographical magnitude and ethnic mix got the hell out as soon as it could in the years following 1991 – leaving Russia smaller, more ethnically heterodox, but scarcely better ruled.

There’s another little nugget of information to wonder at with Russia: despite, or perhaps because of, possessing one of the lowest population densities in the world, it has wreaked easily the most environmental havoc and misery of any country on earth. From Kamchatka to the Gulf of Finland, Russia is still a land of acid rain, heavy metals and plutonium. Stick a pin in a map of Russia and you are likely to alight upon a poisoned river or the rusting hulk of a nuclear submarine, an irradiated steppe, some chemically defoliated birch trees or a gently glowing peasant with a life expectancy of 34 years.

Karl Marx would have been impressed, I suppose, that in the great battle between man and nature, the Soviet Union succeeded in wiping from the map almost an entire sea – the Aral, now largely a toxic desert – and turning the world’s deepest freshwater lake, Baikal, into a borscht of cadmium and mercury deposits. Shorn of its dumb and vindictive state socialism it was blithely assumed that Russia would improve, but there was nothing in Russia’s history to suggest this would be the case.

Now the Russians have planted a flag 13,980ft beneath the North Pole, claiming some half a million square miles of Arctic seabed for themselves (despite being signatories to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea). There are rich oil and mineral deposits down there.

It is assumed by the Russian newspapers that this is the first blow in the battle for control of this bounty and that some day soon there will be a brave new closed city like Chelyabinsk or Krasnoyarsk rising from the snow up there – perhaps the usual tower blocks of grim concrete apartments surrounded by belching refineries, decomposing seal carcasses and woebegone polar bears.

It’s a pleasing, if naive, thought that the Arctic should belong to all of us and, by extension, none of us. But if it is to be divided up I think I would rather it fell into the hands of Chad than Russia. Maybe Moscow should be told that it can have the North Pole when the Aral Sea has been restored to its previous size and Siberia no longer has a half-life.

Don’t Let Toxic Russia Get it’s Claws into the Arctic

A scorching opinion piece from the Times of London exposes the true horror that underlies Russia’s arctic imperialism:

It was often said, by half-hearted western Soviet apologists back in the 1970s, that one should wonder not why Russia was so badly ruled, but marvel that it could be ruled at all.

I always assumed that this was a reference to the geographical magnitude of the country and its diffuse ethnic mix, rather than an insinuation that Russians themselves were genetically predisposed towards incompetent and vicious autocracies. Might have to think again, though. A good proportion of that geographical magnitude and ethnic mix got the hell out as soon as it could in the years following 1991 – leaving Russia smaller, more ethnically heterodox, but scarcely better ruled.

There’s another little nugget of information to wonder at with Russia: despite, or perhaps because of, possessing one of the lowest population densities in the world, it has wreaked easily the most environmental havoc and misery of any country on earth. From Kamchatka to the Gulf of Finland, Russia is still a land of acid rain, heavy metals and plutonium. Stick a pin in a map of Russia and you are likely to alight upon a poisoned river or the rusting hulk of a nuclear submarine, an irradiated steppe, some chemically defoliated birch trees or a gently glowing peasant with a life expectancy of 34 years.

Karl Marx would have been impressed, I suppose, that in the great battle between man and nature, the Soviet Union succeeded in wiping from the map almost an entire sea – the Aral, now largely a toxic desert – and turning the world’s deepest freshwater lake, Baikal, into a borscht of cadmium and mercury deposits. Shorn of its dumb and vindictive state socialism it was blithely assumed that Russia would improve, but there was nothing in Russia’s history to suggest this would be the case.

Now the Russians have planted a flag 13,980ft beneath the North Pole, claiming some half a million square miles of Arctic seabed for themselves (despite being signatories to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea). There are rich oil and mineral deposits down there.

It is assumed by the Russian newspapers that this is the first blow in the battle for control of this bounty and that some day soon there will be a brave new closed city like Chelyabinsk or Krasnoyarsk rising from the snow up there – perhaps the usual tower blocks of grim concrete apartments surrounded by belching refineries, decomposing seal carcasses and woebegone polar bears.

It’s a pleasing, if naive, thought that the Arctic should belong to all of us and, by extension, none of us. But if it is to be divided up I think I would rather it fell into the hands of Chad than Russia. Maybe Moscow should be told that it can have the North Pole when the Aral Sea has been restored to its previous size and Siberia no longer has a half-life.

Don’t Let Toxic Russia Get it’s Claws into the Arctic

A scorching opinion piece from the Times of London exposes the true horror that underlies Russia’s arctic imperialism:

It was often said, by half-hearted western Soviet apologists back in the 1970s, that one should wonder not why Russia was so badly ruled, but marvel that it could be ruled at all.

I always assumed that this was a reference to the geographical magnitude of the country and its diffuse ethnic mix, rather than an insinuation that Russians themselves were genetically predisposed towards incompetent and vicious autocracies. Might have to think again, though. A good proportion of that geographical magnitude and ethnic mix got the hell out as soon as it could in the years following 1991 – leaving Russia smaller, more ethnically heterodox, but scarcely better ruled.

There’s another little nugget of information to wonder at with Russia: despite, or perhaps because of, possessing one of the lowest population densities in the world, it has wreaked easily the most environmental havoc and misery of any country on earth. From Kamchatka to the Gulf of Finland, Russia is still a land of acid rain, heavy metals and plutonium. Stick a pin in a map of Russia and you are likely to alight upon a poisoned river or the rusting hulk of a nuclear submarine, an irradiated steppe, some chemically defoliated birch trees or a gently glowing peasant with a life expectancy of 34 years.

Karl Marx would have been impressed, I suppose, that in the great battle between man and nature, the Soviet Union succeeded in wiping from the map almost an entire sea – the Aral, now largely a toxic desert – and turning the world’s deepest freshwater lake, Baikal, into a borscht of cadmium and mercury deposits. Shorn of its dumb and vindictive state socialism it was blithely assumed that Russia would improve, but there was nothing in Russia’s history to suggest this would be the case.

Now the Russians have planted a flag 13,980ft beneath the North Pole, claiming some half a million square miles of Arctic seabed for themselves (despite being signatories to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea). There are rich oil and mineral deposits down there.

It is assumed by the Russian newspapers that this is the first blow in the battle for control of this bounty and that some day soon there will be a brave new closed city like Chelyabinsk or Krasnoyarsk rising from the snow up there – perhaps the usual tower blocks of grim concrete apartments surrounded by belching refineries, decomposing seal carcasses and woebegone polar bears.

It’s a pleasing, if naive, thought that the Arctic should belong to all of us and, by extension, none of us. But if it is to be divided up I think I would rather it fell into the hands of Chad than Russia. Maybe Moscow should be told that it can have the North Pole when the Aral Sea has been restored to its previous size and Siberia no longer has a half-life.

Don’t Let Toxic Russia Get it’s Claws into the Arctic

A scorching opinion piece from the Times of London exposes the true horror that underlies Russia’s arctic imperialism:

It was often said, by half-hearted western Soviet apologists back in the 1970s, that one should wonder not why Russia was so badly ruled, but marvel that it could be ruled at all.

I always assumed that this was a reference to the geographical magnitude of the country and its diffuse ethnic mix, rather than an insinuation that Russians themselves were genetically predisposed towards incompetent and vicious autocracies. Might have to think again, though. A good proportion of that geographical magnitude and ethnic mix got the hell out as soon as it could in the years following 1991 – leaving Russia smaller, more ethnically heterodox, but scarcely better ruled.

There’s another little nugget of information to wonder at with Russia: despite, or perhaps because of, possessing one of the lowest population densities in the world, it has wreaked easily the most environmental havoc and misery of any country on earth. From Kamchatka to the Gulf of Finland, Russia is still a land of acid rain, heavy metals and plutonium. Stick a pin in a map of Russia and you are likely to alight upon a poisoned river or the rusting hulk of a nuclear submarine, an irradiated steppe, some chemically defoliated birch trees or a gently glowing peasant with a life expectancy of 34 years.

Karl Marx would have been impressed, I suppose, that in the great battle between man and nature, the Soviet Union succeeded in wiping from the map almost an entire sea – the Aral, now largely a toxic desert – and turning the world’s deepest freshwater lake, Baikal, into a borscht of cadmium and mercury deposits. Shorn of its dumb and vindictive state socialism it was blithely assumed that Russia would improve, but there was nothing in Russia’s history to suggest this would be the case.

Now the Russians have planted a flag 13,980ft beneath the North Pole, claiming some half a million square miles of Arctic seabed for themselves (despite being signatories to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea). There are rich oil and mineral deposits down there.

It is assumed by the Russian newspapers that this is the first blow in the battle for control of this bounty and that some day soon there will be a brave new closed city like Chelyabinsk or Krasnoyarsk rising from the snow up there – perhaps the usual tower blocks of grim concrete apartments surrounded by belching refineries, decomposing seal carcasses and woebegone polar bears.

It’s a pleasing, if naive, thought that the Arctic should belong to all of us and, by extension, none of us. But if it is to be divided up I think I would rather it fell into the hands of Chad than Russia. Maybe Moscow should be told that it can have the North Pole when the Aral Sea has been restored to its previous size and Siberia no longer has a half-life.

Don’t Let Toxic Russia Get it’s Claws into the Arctic

A scorching opinion piece from the Times of London exposes the true horror that underlies Russia’s arctic imperialism:

It was often said, by half-hearted western Soviet apologists back in the 1970s, that one should wonder not why Russia was so badly ruled, but marvel that it could be ruled at all.

I always assumed that this was a reference to the geographical magnitude of the country and its diffuse ethnic mix, rather than an insinuation that Russians themselves were genetically predisposed towards incompetent and vicious autocracies. Might have to think again, though. A good proportion of that geographical magnitude and ethnic mix got the hell out as soon as it could in the years following 1991 – leaving Russia smaller, more ethnically heterodox, but scarcely better ruled.

There’s another little nugget of information to wonder at with Russia: despite, or perhaps because of, possessing one of the lowest population densities in the world, it has wreaked easily the most environmental havoc and misery of any country on earth. From Kamchatka to the Gulf of Finland, Russia is still a land of acid rain, heavy metals and plutonium. Stick a pin in a map of Russia and you are likely to alight upon a poisoned river or the rusting hulk of a nuclear submarine, an irradiated steppe, some chemically defoliated birch trees or a gently glowing peasant with a life expectancy of 34 years.

Karl Marx would have been impressed, I suppose, that in the great battle between man and nature, the Soviet Union succeeded in wiping from the map almost an entire sea – the Aral, now largely a toxic desert – and turning the world’s deepest freshwater lake, Baikal, into a borscht of cadmium and mercury deposits. Shorn of its dumb and vindictive state socialism it was blithely assumed that Russia would improve, but there was nothing in Russia’s history to suggest this would be the case.

Now the Russians have planted a flag 13,980ft beneath the North Pole, claiming some half a million square miles of Arctic seabed for themselves (despite being signatories to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea). There are rich oil and mineral deposits down there.

It is assumed by the Russian newspapers that this is the first blow in the battle for control of this bounty and that some day soon there will be a brave new closed city like Chelyabinsk or Krasnoyarsk rising from the snow up there – perhaps the usual tower blocks of grim concrete apartments surrounded by belching refineries, decomposing seal carcasses and woebegone polar bears.

It’s a pleasing, if naive, thought that the Arctic should belong to all of us and, by extension, none of us. But if it is to be divided up I think I would rather it fell into the hands of Chad than Russia. Maybe Moscow should be told that it can have the North Pole when the Aral Sea has been restored to its previous size and Siberia no longer has a half-life.

EDITORIAL: Siberian Light — Tsk, tsk, tsk!

EDITORIAL

Siberian Light: Tsk, tsk, tsk!

 

Probably the single best sign in the Russia blogosphere that you have gone horribly astray is when you find that the lunatic non-blogger Mike Averko agrees with you. At that point, it’s time for a major rethink and maybe a long vacation. Such was the case in a recent post from Siberian Light about the Russian attempt at imperial conquest of the Arctic.

In its post, SL claimed that Canada was being hypocritical in criticizing Russia’s action to claim the sea floor beneath the polar ice cap by planting a flag there because, citing a Canadian news report, in 2005 Canada had done just the same thing in regard to an island called Hans in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. SL is entitled to its opinion, of course, but it’s not entitled to its own facts upon which to defend that opinion.

Now, let’s leave aside the obvious point, brought out forcefully by an SL commenter, that Hans Island is less than one square mile of territory with no energy resources, hence totally unlike the gigantic swath of territory Russia is pursuing. That’s a fairly subtle point that would have required thoughtful analysis to pick up, and maybe SL was in a hurry to deliver the sensational news of Canada’s evil deeds.

And let’s also not make too much of the fact that SL completely ignored Russia’s own blatant, outrageous hypocrisy. For years now, the Putin administration has been wailing to high heaven about “unilateral” actions by the likes of the U.S. in places such as Iraq. It’s been screeching and moaning to beat the band about how unreasonable it is for the U.S. to take action without international consultation and agreement, in “cowboy” fashion. But when Russia wants something? It simply grabs, and anyone who criticizes is demented. Here again, maybe SL was pressed for time and couldn’t think about this situation long enough to notice this point. Such things happen. We understand. These lapses do, of course, give SL’s post the feeling of an exercise in Kremlinist propaganda (especially since SL chooses to try to negate criticism of Russia by pointing to the flaws of the critic rather than defending Russia’s action on its merits, the classic tactic of the KGB and the Commisars of the Internet), and that’s a pity.

Finally, let’s pass over the fact that the entire world is arrayed against Russia as far as its Arctic claim is concerned, whilst the rest of the world has no idea whatsoever that such as place as Hans Island even exists. Not a single country has taken Russia’s side in its Arctic imperialism (SL certainly did not point to any); but again, SL may well have bigger fish to fry than the posts it publishes, so this type of analysis may be too much to fairly expect. It is, of course, a bit odd for SL to be calling for fairness and accuracy yet dispensing none, but the world is full of odd occurrences.

Surely though, one could expect SL to have actually read the basic facts set forth in its own source material and to have reported them fairly. After all, not every reader will click through to a link and check for herself. Unfortunately, this did not occur.

The Canadian news report SL itself cited clearly states:

In 1984, Denmark’s minister of Greenland affairs raised a Danish flag on the island. He then buried a bottle of brandy at the base of the flagpole and left a note saying “Welcome to the Danish island.”

So if anyone deserved to be criticized by SL, it was Denmark and not Canada. Denmark started it. Russia wasn’t responding to any prior flag-planting by a competitor state when it sent submarines to the Arctic, it was acting in the first instance out of sheer unilateral greed. SL clearly owes Canada an apology.

Then there’s this tidbit that SL also chose to ignore:

Peter Taksoe-Jensen, spokesman for Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Copenhagen, says for years Canada and Denmark have agreed to disagree over the island and he sees it as a friendly dispute.

In other words from all appearances, Canada and Denmark were pretty much having each other on. That scenario certainly makes sense, given the puny stakes involved. By contrast, nobody on the face of the earth is suggesting that the dispute now arising between Russia and the entire outside world is “friendly” in any way. The world is quite properly outraged at this naked act of Russian imperialism, taken by a country that already has more territory than any other nation and plenty of energy resources.

Tsk, tsk, tsk, we say to SL, for allowing these two basic facts to escape its analysis. There is no excuse for these lapses. The wreckage Mike Averko has left in his wake of blogs to which he has attached himself like a leech and thereby obliterated the credibility of is impressive: Intelligent.ru, Russia Blog, Sean’s Russia Blog. SL, do you really want to be the next domino? It would be a tragedy to see SL go down that road, because it’s got lots to offer.

Oh and, one other thing. Whilst we are giving SL the business, we’d like to point out how disappointed we are that the blog has chosen, as shown in the screenshot below from Saturday August 4th,


to run advertisements for mail-order brides from Russia in exchange for cash income. These services are not that different from pimping agencies in many cases, and we seriously doubt SL has done the requisite research to find out whether those it advertises are reputable or not. What’s more, it’s not really in Russia’s best interests, what with its declining population and all, to have its women siphoned off to other countries by people who don’t know the first thing about Russian culture. (And please spare us, SL, the rationalization that you don’t control which ads Google puts up on your blog. If you take the money, you take the consequences.)

We’d like to take this opportunity to remind our readers that we don’t try to make money off La Russophobe in any way, much less by marketing Russian brides, though we could do so easily because of our high level of traffic. This is a sign of our commitment to what we are doing. We’d like to invite and challenge SL (and all Russia bloggers) to do the same, and elevate the blogosphere above the level of commercial journalism. We provide content to Publius Pundit, which does run advertisements, but we get none of that revenue, and when ads for Russian brides briefly appeared on that blog we immediately insisted they be removed. They immediately were.

Annals of Russian . . . Golf?

If you can believe it, a European Tour golf event was played in Moscow over the weekend, namely the “Russian Open.” You probably aren’t surprised to learn that the event was such a ridiculous joke that only eight of Europe’s top 100 players for 2007 entered tournament, and only one of its top 50 — namely #50 Robert-Jan Derksen. One might think that a country covered most of the year in snow with a male lifespan below 60 years would have better things to do with its time than build golf courses. As usual when one thinks such logical thoughts where Russia is concerned, one is surprised. It’s as if America were building luge runs in tropical, flood-stricken New Orleans.

Six Russian players were entered in the tournament. None of the six is ranked on the European Tour. None of them made the cut of 75 players (consisting, you will recall, of the dregs of Europe) to be allowed forward the weekend half of the event. Four of the seven worst results in the field of 116 players at the end of the first two two days were put up by Russian players, including the both of the bottom two. Russian Grigory Bondarenko brought up the rear at 21 over par. Clearly more evidence of Russian dominance in the world of sport.

The highest Russian finisher was Dimitry Vinogradov, who tied for 76th place at two over par. When you ask the European Tour’s website for information about Vinogradov, it’s never heard of him other than to state that he hasn’t played an event outside of Russia in his entire career and never placed higher than 75th in any of the Russian events he’s played.

Annals of Russian Tennis

The above screenshot from the WTA tour website last Friday blares the headline “Russians Rule at the Acura Classic.” This referred to the fact that five of the eight quarter-finals spots at last week’s tour event at the La Costa resort in San Diego California were occupied by Russians (Maria Sharapova, Anna Chakvetadze, Nadia Petrova, Maria Kirilenko and Elena Dementieva). What explains this “success”? A classic Russian illusion.

The WTA may not have noticed, but we did, that four of the six top-10 non-Russians in the world didn’t even enter the event (Ana Ivanovic, Amelie Mauresmo, Justine Henin and Serena Williams all skipped out). Non-Russian Venus Williams took the fifth top-ten non-Russian, Daniela Hantuchova, out of the tournament before any of the Russians had to face her. This meant that the only top-ten-ranked non-Russian the Russian contingent had to face was world #3 Jelena Jankovic, and world #42 Kirilenko beat her, just barely, in a three-set shocker.

Meanwhile, three of Russia’s four top-ten players chose to play the event (perhaps encouraged by the fact that virtually all of the top non-Russians were skipping it), leaving Russia with five of the top ten seeds in the tournament and three of the top four. Two of those top-ten seeds would go on to experience humiliating losses, including Dinara Safina (world #14), who was booted out of the tournament before the quarters in easy straight sets (winning only 3 of 15 games played) by an unseeded player not ranked in the world’s top 30, leaving Russia with the predictable four seeds in the quarters along with Kirilenko.

So that’s how the Russians managed it. Impressive, isn’t it? Seems the WTA is rather hard up for news these days.

When the tournament reached the quarter finals, the four of Russia’s five top-ten seeds who remained alive each drew lower-ranked opponents, and the one Russian who didn’t get to play a lower-ranked opponent (namely Kirilenko) got to play another Russian, which might be even better luck.

The details on the quarter-finals action at La Costa:

  • World #9 Nadia Petrova was destroyed in easy straight sets by a lower ranked non-Russian, world #17 Patty Schnyder.
  • World #2 Maria Sharapova, again showing why she’s perhaps the luckiest human being on the face of the planet, drew lowly world #31 Sania Mirza of India — the lowest ranked opponent of any of the five Russians in the quarters, virtually guaranteeing her a spot in the semi-finals. Naturally, Sharapova prevailed. Wow, big win for the Russians!
  • World #6 Anna Chakvetadze faced world #16 Venus Williams. The higher-ranked player won (after being pushed to three sets including tiebreakers). Big deal. Of course, it’s true that this was clearly Russia’s best win in all its quarter-finals matches, because it’s quite rare for a Russian to beat a top-20 non-Russian. Two of Russia’s three grand slam titles have come when Russians played against each other in the finals; it’s sole grand slam to have been won against a non-Russian was won by a Russian who lives in America and learned her game there. And this is the second time Chakvetadze has pulled off a win like this in 2007 (the first time she actually beat a higher-ranked non-Russian, Jankovic) making her by far Russia’s hottest player of 2007 (now go ask a Slavic Russian whether a person named “Chakvetadze” is “Russian” or not).
  • And the last two of the Russian quarter finalists, Kirilenko and Dementieva, played each other, so Russia was guaranteed at least one spot in the semi-finals. Kirilenko was destroyed by Dementieva, the serveless wonder and one of the weakest top-ten players who’ve ever stepped on a court, making Kirilenko’s prior victory over Jankovic look exactly like the freak occurrence it exactly was.

The seeding predicted that Russia would have three of the four spots in the semi-finals, and Russia in fact had three spots in the semi-finals, so all Russia accomplished was to live up to the seeding, not “rule” the tournament with prowess.

In the semi-finals, lower-ranked non-Russian Schnyder blew higher-ranked Russian Dementieva off the court, with Dementieva (the only player left in the draw whom Slavic Russians would recognize as actually being “Russian”) unable to win a single game in the second set, and Sharapova, the “Russian” who lives in America and learned her game there (and who recently refused to play for the Russian national team and got expelled from it), similarly destroyed Chakvetadze. So in the finals what did we see? We saw every single one of the “ruling” Russians who actually lives in Russia blown off the court in humiliating fashion by the non-Russians and/or the Russian who’s really an American.

The net result (excuse the pun) was that only after all this (a stacked deck full of Russian patsy opponents), and the ability to face a non-top-15 opponent (an opponent not even seeded in the top 10 within the tournament itself!) in the finals, was “world #2” Shamapova finally able to win(in three sets) her first tournament of 2007, with the year already well more than half over. And that’s to say nothing of the fact that right after the Russophile’s (at long last) spurn Sharapova as a traitor, it’s she who emerges victorious from the next major tour event whilst all the “real” Russians go down (once again, so predictably) to humiliating defeat.

Ouch. That one’s gotta sting.

August 5, 2007 — Contents

SUNDAY AUGUST 5 CONTENTS


(1) The Sunday Photos: YouTube Edition

(2) The Sunday Persecution

(3) Frenzied Hatred of America in Putin’s Russia

(4) The Sunday “Funnies”

(5) Exonerating Yeltsin, Exposing the USSR