Daily Archives: September 5, 2007

September 5, 2007 — Contents

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 5 CONTENTS


(1) Another Original LR Translation

(2) Annals of Russian Barbarism: Shocking New Data on Race Crimes

(3) Crazed, Bloodthirsty Kremlin Keeps Assaulting Britain

(4) How did Russia defeat Hitler? It Got Lucky!

(5) Annals of Sports Humiliation in Putin’s Russia

Another Original LR Translation: Latynina on the Politkovskaya Arrests

La Russophobe‘s professional translator offers yet another invaluable window into the Russia press, this time from the pen of hero journalist Yulia Latynina writing about the arrests in the Politkovskaya case:

The Trotskiy-Berezovskiy Process

Yezhednevniy Zhurnal

August 28, 2007

by Yulia Latynina

I once observed that the Russian General Prosecutor has a simple option available to him for solving the murder of Litvinenko. He can simply have Mr. Lugovoi confess that he killed Litvinenko on orders from Berezovskiy.

This method has one clear advantage: such a confession could never be refuted. It also has the shortcoming that our enemies in the West – who as everyone knows seek only to sling mud on the great and free nation of Russia – will doubtless never believe such an obvious and complete confession, for about the same reason that in the 1930’s neither the confessions of Bukharin nor Rykov persuaded those in the West who watched the Trotskiy-Bukharin trials. Instead of decisively proving the treachery of Stalin’s enemies, these trials for some reason were taken in the West as proof of the totalitarian nature of the regime.

It is hard to say whether it was planned from the very beginning to expose the murder of Litvinenko in the manner of 1937 (or, for example, arrange it so that the murderer killed himself, leaving behind a letter written before his death). But instead, one way or another, Mr. Lugovoi pranced out on the “Echo Moscow” radio program, crying out: Here I am, alive and well, friends! And with that he closed the subject himself.

FSB Lieutenant Colonel Pavel Anatolevich Ryaguzov, accused in the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, never had such an opportunity. If the murder had taken place somewhere in London, and a surveillance camera had caught, for example, Pavel Anatolevich thirty seconds before the murder with a pistol in his hand, then, undoubtedly, the colonel could have come on “Echo Moskow” and explained that the above-mentioned frames were fabrications and provocations by the enemies of the Russian government. And in that way he might have saved himself.

I assume that the people arrested (at least some of them) are in some way actually connected with the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. But something tells me that in the West they will not believe that the murder of Politkovskaya, or of Litvinenko, or for that matter the recent poisoning of Pavel Basanets, were committed on the orders of those abroad with the aim of destabilizing the situation in Russia – as was suggested by General Prosecutor Chaika.

But why did Chaika make his announcement just now? I personally see three possibilities.

First, and simplest, is that the stink had already started to leak out, and revelation of the fact that the killers had been arrested was unavoidable. (Your humble reporter, for instance, heard last week about their arrests from some Chechen acquaintances.) It turns out to be a very unpleasant story. Ten people were arrested, some of whom were members of an ethnic crime group that specialized in contract murders, while the others were intelligence officers who specialized in providing operational security and support for contract murders, tracking down victims, etc. If this fact is revealed inconclusively, the public can draw its own conclusions. And they will also be unpleasant. For example, the public may decide that intelligence officers, hoeing the difficult row of enabling murders, would hardly take orders from enemies of the regime, who might ruin their entire business, but would easily take orders from those who would ruin their business only if they refused. I personally consider this answer the most plausible.

It is simple: a professional, conscientious investigator caught the killers. And now they need to weaken the effect of the fact that the killer was caught with an announcement about those who ordered the killing.

The second possibility is that such an announcement will ruin the case. It will work out like it did with Kholodov. The case will die during a jury trial due to “pressure” or “lack of evidence”; even though the killers are present, and the person who ordered the murder has been identified, the case will still fall apart. I personally consider this possibility less likely, simply because it is easier just to imprison the killers, no matter who ordered the murder, and then either kill them in prison or release them with new identities.

The third possibility is that the General Prosecutor issued his announcement exactly at the beginning of the Big Fall Presidential Fight and coinciding with two very significant events. Specifically, with the blowing up of the Nevskiy Express and the arrest of the “Tambov” leader Vladimir Kumarin, which speaks of a mysterious undercover squabble. [TN: The Tambov region of Russia, about 400 km southeast of Moscow, is widely known to be the home of an especially vicious organized crime clan.] It is noteworthy that Chaika yesterday reported to Putin first about Kumarin, and only afterwards about Politkovskaya. (This, aside from everything else, means that the take-down of the “Tambovs” was sanctioned at the very highest levels, and that this enormous geological event will bring about a grandiose cleansing of the “tails” of the ruling elite, and it has no connection whatsoever with the minor Saint Petersburg asset-stripping and business interests of Matvienko’s son, as I pointed out in vain on the Saturday program “Access Code”.)

But a presidential campaign that begins with the arrest of Kumarin and the presentation of an FSB lieutenant colonel as the one who killed Politkovskaya “on orders from enemies in the West”, will end with nothing short of Armageddon.

The thing is, a public trial against the “enemies of the people”, even if they live in the West, will cut Putin off from his path to retirement. Because in the West they may suppose (not without basis, perhaps) that Putin did not know about the murder itself. But about the trial he could not help but know.

This is two different regimes – a regime in which political enemies of the president are killed, and a regime in which they are not killed. And it is another two other sorts of regime as well – a regime in which political enemies of the president are simply killed, and a regime in which in the course of a show-trial the killers eagerly throw out the black name of the one who ordered the murder: comrade Trots… pardon me, Berezovskiy or Nukhaev.

Annals of Russian Barbarism: Shocking New Data on Race Violence

The BBC reports:

A respected Russian human rights group has published shocking new data on the extent of racist violence in Russia. Sova says 38 people have been murdered in racist killings so far this year, and well over 300 people have been injured, mainly in stabbings.

According to its figures, the most common victims of racist killings are from the Caucasus and Central Asia. It also warns that Russia’s skinheads have begun targeting other minorities, including homosexuals. Sova says that Moscow, St Petersburg and Russia’s fourth city – Nizhniy Novgorod – are the leaders in racist attacks.

Ultra-right activists

It says 24 people have died in Moscow alone this year as a result of racially motivated killings by what it terms “skinheads”. The word “skinhead” in Russia implies something much more than appearance. It is the generic term given to the country’s ultra-right activists, who continue to form organisations and carry out attacks with what anti-racism groups say is impunity.

Sova estimates there are more than 60,000 skinheads in Russia.

It says its figures suggest the toll of racist attacks is increasing, but prosecutors remain reluctant to attribute racial motivation to killings of ethnic minorities. Instead, they often put them down to simple “hooliganism”. Campaigners say this is because the authorities have traditionally turned a blind eye to racist killings, and used nationalism as a political weapon. Furthermore, a substantial proportion of ordinary Russians voice opinions that would be criminally racist in many European countries.

Many Russians reject this, pointing to what they say is infringement of their rights both in areas of Russia where they are an ethnic minority, and especially in the countries of the former Soviet Union. But anti-racism campaigners say there are new, ominous developments. Skinheads, they say, with the tacit connivance of the authorities, have started attacking non-conforming young people and homosexuals. Earlier this year, neo-Nazis violently attacked an attempted gay pride march in Moscow, while the police stood by.

Crazed Kremlin Keeps Assaulting Britain

The Times of London reports:

A RUSSIAN activist expected to take over a sinister youth group with ties to the Kremlin has warned that a campaign of harassment against the British ambassador in Moscow will be resumed if he shows support for the country’s beleaguered opposition in the run-up to parliamentary elections in December. Nikita Borovikov, 26, who is being groomed to take over Nashi, a 100,000-strong youth movement, later this year, gave a vigorous defence of a previous campaign against Anthony Brenton. The envoy was stalked for several months, an experience he called “psychological harassment bordering on violence”.

“I don’t see anything wrong in the way Nashi expressed its displeasure at the fact that Brenton attended an opposition conference,” said Borovikov. “If he thinks we broke any laws he is welcome to sue.

“Should he again express support for people we think are traitors and fascists, we will do exactly the same. We see it as our duty as patriotic citizens to make sure he hears our protests.”

Shortly after Brenton spoke at a conference last year organised by Other Russia, a coalition of opposition groups headed by Garry Kasparov, the former world chess champion, militants from Nashi, which means “our own”, followed the ambassador for six months with a banner demanding he apologise. They shouted abuse as he shopped for cat food, obstructed his car, advertised his movements on the internet and disrupted him when he spoke publicly. The campaign stopped some weeks after the Foreign Office lodged a complaint with the Russian foreign ministry. “What’s the problem?” asked Borovikov. “Why can’t Britain, which is always preaching about democracy, stand someone staging a peaceful protest?”

Renewed intimidation of the ambassador would anger the Foreign Office and further damage Anglo-Russian relations at a time when they are at their most strained since the end of the cold war following Moscow’s refusal to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, the prime suspect in the murder of the former KGB officer Alexander Litvin-enko in London. Polite, clean-cut and articulate, the young commissar – as the movement’s deputy leaders are known in honour of Bolshe-vik officials – said he was against extremism but at times his views seemed to differ little from those of generations of KGB cold warriors. Borovikov, who declined to be photographed, said Nashi believed the West was seeking a revolution in Russia similar to popular revolts in the former Soviet states of Georgia and Ukraine. In tune with thinking in the Kremlin, which argues that the uprisings were the work of western intelligence, Nashi says it is determined to prevent a west-ern-backed coup when Russia votes for a parliament in December and a president in March.

“The US, Britain and the rest of Europe don’t like the fact that Russia is becoming strong again,” said Borovikov. “They want to get their hands on our oil and gas and are plotting to try to bring in a government which is open to influence. We will do all we can to safeguard our interests and independence.” Some liberals call them “Nash-ists”, a play on “fascists”, but the group was modelled on the Komsomol, the Communist party youth organisation. It was inspired by Vladislav Surkov, a close aide to President Vladimir Putin who wanted to protect the Kremlin from any uprising such as the one that toppled the government of Ukraine.

Most independent experts believe Ukraine’s “orange revolution” was a genuine popular protest movement but the Kremlin’s mistrust of the West was fuelled by evidence that the US State Department helped fund it. With Kremlin funding and members from 50 Russian cities, Nashi has become a powerful tool in the drive to boost patriotism among the country’s youth. Its activists march in T-shirts emblazoned with Putin’s portrait. The group’s flag, a diagonal white cross on a red background, mixes Soviet and Russian imperial imagery. Besides harassing the British ambassador, the group has also campaigned to mobilise blood donors and crack down on alcohol sales to children. Other activities are more disquieting. Each year the group holds a “summer camp” – Putin and several other Kremlin figures have attended – and this year activists put up large posters of Kasparov and Mikhail Kasy-anov, the former prime minister turned opposition figure, that had been altered to make them look like prostitutes.

When Estonia, the tiny Baltic state, angered the Kremlin in May by moving a Soviet-era military monument, Nashi activists stormed a press conference by Estonia’s ambassador, retreating only when the diplomat’s bodyguards sprayed them with mace. Moving Together, the youth movement from which Nashi evolved, staged public book burnings of works it regarded as unpatriotic. “Nashi will do all it can to help pro-Kremlin parties in the December parliamentary elections,” Borovikov said. “We’ll be picketing the opposition to make sure young people understand that these are puppets of the West who only want to sell out our country.” While Nashi has condemned nationalism, critics say the Kremlin’s endorsement of the youth group’s fervent brand of patriotism has encouraged antiwestern sentiment and intolerance. Last week a member of Kasparov’s party was taken to hospital after being badly beaten by unidentified assailants.

Since coming to power nearly eight years ago, Putin, most recently seen parading a bare chest during a fishing holiday designed to underscore his “strong-man” credentials, has been at the forefront of efforts to make his country more patriotic. The West was alarmed by the resumption last month of reconnaissance flights by Russian bombers along western Europe’s borders, and the aggressiveness is expected to intensify: Russia is set to bolster its military and boost its overseas espionage. “The worrying thing is that whereas 15 years ago young Russians embraced the West with great enthusiasm, now more and more look to us with deep-seated mistrust,” said a former senior British diplomat. “It would not matter, were it not for the fact that they are Russia’s next generation of political leaders.”

A reader writes by e-mail:

This is the Daily Herald (a pro-Soviet British newspaper) of 5th March 1928:

“Moscow March 4, 1928.

A large an enthusiastic crowd of people, mostly ticket-holders, today witnessed a curious but brilliant ceremony at the Moscow aerodrome.14 Battle planes were, with much ceremony, presented to the Red Air Force, and the fuselage of each one bore the following inscription in big red letters: “Our Answer to Chamberlain.” (Sir Austen Chamberlain, the British Foreign Secretary of the time).

These Russian built machines are, in fact, the first batch to be delivered out of 66 already built by public conscription subscription to “commemorate” the breach of relations with Great Britain”.

Winston Churchill a few months earlier referred to the Soviet government as “treacherous, incorrigible, and unfit for civilised intercourse”

That was 80 years ago. Does anything change? Not, apparently in the government of the Russian state.

How Did Russia Defeat Hitler? It got Lucky!

Reviewing Russian history during World War II, Newsweek magazine exposes Russia’s absurd propaganda about Stalin’s achievements, and their own (click through the link to watch Newsweek‘s video presentation):

By mid-October 1941, most of Moscow’s residents were convinced that their city was about to be overrun by the Germans. The NKVD, as the Soviet secret police was then called, had prepared the first of what promised to be a series of pamphlets. “Comrades! We left Moscow due to the continuous attacks of the Germans,” it declared. “But it’s not the right time for us to weep.” The “Underground Party Committee” that signed the statement vowed that Moscow would be liberated. Since the city held out in the end, this admission of defeat was ultimately buried in the NKVD’s classified files rather than distributed. In fact, much of the story of how close Moscow came to falling—a defeat that would likely have transformed the course of the war—has been obscured by decades of deliberately distorted history. Now it’s a story that can be told.

The battle for Moscow, which officially lasted from Sept. 30, 1941, to April 20, 1942, pitted two gargantuan armies against each other in what was the greatest clash of arms in human history. Seven million men were involved in some stage of this struggle—twice the number who would later fight at Stalingrad, which most people erroneously believe was the bloodiest battle of World War II. The losses were more than twice that of Stalingrad; during the battle for Moscow, 2.5 million were killed, missing, taken prisoner or severely wounded, with 1.9 million of those losses on the Soviet side.

For the first time a Hitler blitzkrieg was stopped, shattering his dream of a swift victory over the Soviet Union. The defeat was also the first signal that Germany would lose the war. As Fabian von Schlabrendorff, a German officer who later joined the conspiracy against Hitler, explained, it destroyed “the myth of the invincibility of the German soldier.” And yet the battle for Moscow is now largely forgotten.

The greatest battle by andrew nagorski

This is no accident. Any honest account of the battle for Moscow would undermine the Soviet story line of “The Great Patriotic War.” Those sanitized versions, now reinforced in the era of President Vladimir Putin, portray Joseph Stalin as a military genius and his people as heroically united against the German invader. (It’s no coincidence that Stalin’s reputation plummets when there’s a period of liberalization in Russia and rises when there’s a new clampdown.) But it was Stalin’s blunders, incompetence and brutality that made it possible for German troops to approach the outskirts of Moscow—and to kill or capture so many Soviet troops along the way.

Boris Vidensky was a cadet at the Podolsk Military Academy when the war started and was one of the lucky few of his class who survived when they were thrown, thoroughly unprepared, against the advancing Germans. He went on to become a senior researcher at the Military History Institute in Moscow. In retirement, he recounted that after the war, Marshal Georgy Zhukov, the legendary Red Army commander, ordered his deputy to roughly calculate the losses of his troops near Moscow. When the deputy showed him the number he came up with, Zhukov quickly barked out an order: “Hide it and don’t show it to anybody!”

Looters attacked food stores, factory workers went on strike, and angry crowds blocked those who were trying to flee in cars, pulling them out, beating and robbing them. Other residents tore down their posters of Marx and Lenin, stuffing them and other communist propaganda into garbage bins outside. That would have been an unspeakable crime before, but no one was enforcing the old rules. Thick black smoke arose from the chimneys of the Lubyanka, the NKVD headquarters, as the secret police hastily burned their files. Much of the Soviet government, along with foreign diplomats and journalists, had just been evacuated by rail to Kuibyshev, the Volga city about 600 miles away that was supposed to serve as the new base for the government once the capital fell. And Stalin was expected to join them within a day or two. A special train was already waiting at the station, along with his personal Douglas DC-3 and three other planes in case he had to make an even hastier exit.

Stalin’s policies and gross miscalculations had led to this near disaster. His wholesale purges of the Red Army in 1937 and 1938 deprived the military of many of its most experienced officers. Among the first victims: Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky, the aristocrat turned Red Army commander who had predicted that Germany could attack without warning and that the result would be a long, costly conflict. “What are you trying to do—frighten Soviet authority?” Stalin demanded. The Soviet dictator then had him tortured and executed for allegedly plotting a coup with the help of German fascists. Thousands of other senior officers met a similar fate.

After he made common cause with Hitler by agreeing to the Soviet-Nazi nonaggression pact of Aug. 23, 1939, Stalin refused to heed countless warnings from his own spies and Western governments that the Germans were about to invade. He did not allow his military leaders to put their men on alert, which led to the initial string of German victories. The invaders killed or captured huge numbers of Red Army troops, and seized weapons caches that had been left near the border area. As a result, many Soviet troops were sent into battle without guns. Ilya Druzhnikov, a book illustrator dispatched to the front, recalled that there was only one rifle available for every 10 men in his unit. This meant that unarmed soldiers trailed each armed man, waiting for him to fall so that one of them could pick up his weapon.

Stalin was ultimately saved by Hitler’s even bigger blunders. The German dictator sent his armies into Russia in late June 1941 without winter clothing: the Führer was convinced they would triumph before the weather turned. By mid-July, the Germans had advanced to the Smolensk region, and Hitler’s generals, like the panzer commander Heinz Guderian, wanted to keep driving due east to Moscow, only about 230 miles away. But Hitler ordered them to turn south and take the Ukraine first. They did, losing precious time in the process. Once “Operation Typhoon” was launched against Moscow on Sept. 30, the roads quickly turned to mud during the rainy season and then the temperatures began plummeting. Wrapping themselves in anything they could steal from the civilian population, the Germans still froze—and their bodies were often left stacked like firewood since they couldn’t be buried till spring.

Soviet resistance noticeably stiffened. Hitler’s insistence on launching an immediate reign of terror in the occupied Soviet territories and the merciless treatment of Soviet POWs, most of whom perished, proved a boon to Stalin’s efforts to rally his troops. But he wasn’t taking any chances. “Blocking units” were set up behind Red Army lines with orders to machine-gun any soldiers who tried to retreat. The delay of the German drive to Moscow also provided Stalin with time to redeploy about 400,000 troops stationed in Siberia, once he became convinced Japan wouldn’t attack from the east. These troops, equipped with full winter gear, soon began to score victories against the overextended, exhausted, freezing Germans.

On Oct. 16, the worst day of the panic in Moscow, Stalin was not yet confident of such an outcome. An Air Force officer saw him sitting at his desk asking himself again and again, “What shall we do? What shall we do?” Two days later, the Soviet leader went to the station where his special train was waiting. As Pavel Saprykin, who was part of the work detail that prepared the train, recalled in his old age, he saw Stalin walk up to his carriage, then pace the platform beside it. But he didn’t board it. Instead, he left the station. It proved a fateful decision, signaling that all was not lost.

Vowing to remain in Moscow, Stalin suddenly took charge again, reverting to the tactic he had always relied on—brute force. He declared martial law on Oct. 19, and NKVD units were ordered to shoot looters along with almost anyone who looked suspicious. Surviving members of those patrols, such as Yevgeny Anufriyev, are cautious in describing what they actually did. “We had an amazing order to shoot spies and deserters on the spot,” he said. “But we didn’t know how to figure out who was a spy.” However many Muscovites were shot, the looting and the unrest stopped.

But the memories of the breakdown of law and order, and how close Moscow came to falling, remain sensitive to this day. Stalin’s mistakes were never mentioned in the official histories. Nor do those accounts admit that if it weren’t for Hitler’s even greater mistakes, Stalin wouldn’t have been able to save his capital—and, quite possibly, might never have prevailed in the larger struggle.

Annals of Sport Humiliation in Putin’s Russia

The bad news for Russian sports under Putin’s dictatorship just keeps coming, fast and furious. Putin’s neo-Soviet solution? Just don’t report it. First tennis, then track & field, now ice hockey. It doesn’t get much more humiliating. The Moscow Times reports:

Canada will wear 1972-style jerseys in Winnipeg on Tuesday for Game 5 of the Super Series against Russia, The Canadian Press reported, but the event is shaping into a rout very unlike the exciting series it was held to commemorate. With a 4-2 win in Omsk on Saturday, the Canadian junior hockey team completed a sweep of the Russian leg of the eight-game series. Russia gave its best effort so far, with coordinated, attacking play in the first period and two quick goals in the third — but it wasn’t enough to stop a superior Canadian squad. It was a different story 35 years ago, when the Soviet team won Game 4 of the Summit Series 5-3 to take a 2-1-1 lead going into the last four games. Though the Soviets went on to lose by one game, the series exposed the Canadians, who had never played a full-strength Soviet squad before, to a completely new style of play. The Super Series feels more like a hockey lesson for Russia than a matchup of equals. Coach Sergei Nemchinov said as much on Saturday. “I think it was a good lesson for our team,” Nemchinov told the news agency though an interpreter. “They were a real team today, but it could be really hard to outplay such a disciplined team as Team Canada is. We need to make fewer mistakes and then, probably, we will achieve success.” At this point, achieving success may mean simply saving face.

Russian media have not been eager to publicize the team’s losses. In a report buried on Page 12 of Monday’s Sport Express, Andrei Kuznetsov commended the country’s television networks for not airing the series, then compared the Russian team’s playing to a cartoon.

“Showing cartoons in a prime time slot won’t go over — especially cartoons about hockey.”

Annals of Sport Humiliation in Putin’s Russia

The bad news for Russian sports under Putin’s dictatorship just keeps coming, fast and furious. Putin’s neo-Soviet solution? Just don’t report it. First tennis, then track & field, now ice hockey. It doesn’t get much more humiliating. The Moscow Times reports:

Canada will wear 1972-style jerseys in Winnipeg on Tuesday for Game 5 of the Super Series against Russia, The Canadian Press reported, but the event is shaping into a rout very unlike the exciting series it was held to commemorate. With a 4-2 win in Omsk on Saturday, the Canadian junior hockey team completed a sweep of the Russian leg of the eight-game series. Russia gave its best effort so far, with coordinated, attacking play in the first period and two quick goals in the third — but it wasn’t enough to stop a superior Canadian squad. It was a different story 35 years ago, when the Soviet team won Game 4 of the Summit Series 5-3 to take a 2-1-1 lead going into the last four games. Though the Soviets went on to lose by one game, the series exposed the Canadians, who had never played a full-strength Soviet squad before, to a completely new style of play. The Super Series feels more like a hockey lesson for Russia than a matchup of equals. Coach Sergei Nemchinov said as much on Saturday. “I think it was a good lesson for our team,” Nemchinov told the news agency though an interpreter. “They were a real team today, but it could be really hard to outplay such a disciplined team as Team Canada is. We need to make fewer mistakes and then, probably, we will achieve success.” At this point, achieving success may mean simply saving face.

Russian media have not been eager to publicize the team’s losses. In a report buried on Page 12 of Monday’s Sport Express, Andrei Kuznetsov commended the country’s television networks for not airing the series, then compared the Russian team’s playing to a cartoon.

“Showing cartoons in a prime time slot won’t go over — especially cartoons about hockey.”

Annals of Sport Humiliation in Putin’s Russia

The bad news for Russian sports under Putin’s dictatorship just keeps coming, fast and furious. Putin’s neo-Soviet solution? Just don’t report it. First tennis, then track & field, now ice hockey. It doesn’t get much more humiliating. The Moscow Times reports:

Canada will wear 1972-style jerseys in Winnipeg on Tuesday for Game 5 of the Super Series against Russia, The Canadian Press reported, but the event is shaping into a rout very unlike the exciting series it was held to commemorate. With a 4-2 win in Omsk on Saturday, the Canadian junior hockey team completed a sweep of the Russian leg of the eight-game series. Russia gave its best effort so far, with coordinated, attacking play in the first period and two quick goals in the third — but it wasn’t enough to stop a superior Canadian squad. It was a different story 35 years ago, when the Soviet team won Game 4 of the Summit Series 5-3 to take a 2-1-1 lead going into the last four games. Though the Soviets went on to lose by one game, the series exposed the Canadians, who had never played a full-strength Soviet squad before, to a completely new style of play. The Super Series feels more like a hockey lesson for Russia than a matchup of equals. Coach Sergei Nemchinov said as much on Saturday. “I think it was a good lesson for our team,” Nemchinov told the news agency though an interpreter. “They were a real team today, but it could be really hard to outplay such a disciplined team as Team Canada is. We need to make fewer mistakes and then, probably, we will achieve success.” At this point, achieving success may mean simply saving face.

Russian media have not been eager to publicize the team’s losses. In a report buried on Page 12 of Monday’s Sport Express, Andrei Kuznetsov commended the country’s television networks for not airing the series, then compared the Russian team’s playing to a cartoon.

“Showing cartoons in a prime time slot won’t go over — especially cartoons about hockey.”

Annals of Sport Humiliation in Putin’s Russia

The bad news for Russian sports under Putin’s dictatorship just keeps coming, fast and furious. Putin’s neo-Soviet solution? Just don’t report it. First tennis, then track & field, now ice hockey. It doesn’t get much more humiliating. The Moscow Times reports:

Canada will wear 1972-style jerseys in Winnipeg on Tuesday for Game 5 of the Super Series against Russia, The Canadian Press reported, but the event is shaping into a rout very unlike the exciting series it was held to commemorate. With a 4-2 win in Omsk on Saturday, the Canadian junior hockey team completed a sweep of the Russian leg of the eight-game series. Russia gave its best effort so far, with coordinated, attacking play in the first period and two quick goals in the third — but it wasn’t enough to stop a superior Canadian squad. It was a different story 35 years ago, when the Soviet team won Game 4 of the Summit Series 5-3 to take a 2-1-1 lead going into the last four games. Though the Soviets went on to lose by one game, the series exposed the Canadians, who had never played a full-strength Soviet squad before, to a completely new style of play. The Super Series feels more like a hockey lesson for Russia than a matchup of equals. Coach Sergei Nemchinov said as much on Saturday. “I think it was a good lesson for our team,” Nemchinov told the news agency though an interpreter. “They were a real team today, but it could be really hard to outplay such a disciplined team as Team Canada is. We need to make fewer mistakes and then, probably, we will achieve success.” At this point, achieving success may mean simply saving face.

Russian media have not been eager to publicize the team’s losses. In a report buried on Page 12 of Monday’s Sport Express, Andrei Kuznetsov commended the country’s television networks for not airing the series, then compared the Russian team’s playing to a cartoon.

“Showing cartoons in a prime time slot won’t go over — especially cartoons about hockey.”

Annals of Sport Humiliation in Putin’s Russia

The bad news for Russian sports under Putin’s dictatorship just keeps coming, fast and furious. Putin’s neo-Soviet solution? Just don’t report it. First tennis, then track & field, now ice hockey. It doesn’t get much more humiliating. The Moscow Times reports:

Canada will wear 1972-style jerseys in Winnipeg on Tuesday for Game 5 of the Super Series against Russia, The Canadian Press reported, but the event is shaping into a rout very unlike the exciting series it was held to commemorate. With a 4-2 win in Omsk on Saturday, the Canadian junior hockey team completed a sweep of the Russian leg of the eight-game series. Russia gave its best effort so far, with coordinated, attacking play in the first period and two quick goals in the third — but it wasn’t enough to stop a superior Canadian squad. It was a different story 35 years ago, when the Soviet team won Game 4 of the Summit Series 5-3 to take a 2-1-1 lead going into the last four games. Though the Soviets went on to lose by one game, the series exposed the Canadians, who had never played a full-strength Soviet squad before, to a completely new style of play. The Super Series feels more like a hockey lesson for Russia than a matchup of equals. Coach Sergei Nemchinov said as much on Saturday. “I think it was a good lesson for our team,” Nemchinov told the news agency though an interpreter. “They were a real team today, but it could be really hard to outplay such a disciplined team as Team Canada is. We need to make fewer mistakes and then, probably, we will achieve success.” At this point, achieving success may mean simply saving face.

Russian media have not been eager to publicize the team’s losses. In a report buried on Page 12 of Monday’s Sport Express, Andrei Kuznetsov commended the country’s television networks for not airing the series, then compared the Russian team’s playing to a cartoon.

“Showing cartoons in a prime time slot won’t go over — especially cartoons about hockey.”

September 4, 2007 — Contents

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 4 CONTENTS


(1) Hoagland Rips Putin a New One

(2) Russia Today Propaganda Continues Apace

(3) Annals of Russian Imperialism

(4) Putin’s Russia: It Can’t Even do Potatoes and Onions Right

(5) Georgia Unmasks Russia

(6) More Sports Humiliation for Putin’s Russia