Monthly Archives: March 2008

March 31, 2008 — Contents

MONDAY MARCH 31 CONTENTS

(1) Another Original LR Translation: Good Morning, Vladimir Vladimirovich!

(2) EDITORIAL: Russia and its Children

(3) Another Original LR Translation: Kozlovsky Speaks

(4) Russia Brutalizes its Children, Doesn’t Care

(5) Goble on Russia’s Children

(6) Another Original LR Translation: The Nemtsov White Paper in Full

NOTE: It’s wall-to-wall translations today. Two original translations by our Original Translator from the Russian press, one a radio interview of Oleg Kozlovsky by Echo of Moscow Radio and the other a newspaper article about journalist Vladimir Pozner, and capped off by a republication of Dave Essel’s translation of the Boris Nemtsov White Paper on Vladimir Putin, for the first time in one location in copyable HTML. These are unprecedented glimpses into the real world of Russia which the world quite simply would not have but for the work of this blog and its heroic translation team. On behalf of all our staff and readers, we thank them heartily for their wonderful work. The other half of our content is devoted to Russia’s children, two excellent pieces of reporting on Russia’s horrific ongoing pattern of child abuse (obviously linked to its declining population), with our editorial condemning the Kremlin’s greatest malignancy of all.

Another Original LR Translation: Good Morning, Vladimir Vladimiriovich! — by our Original Translator

Good Morning, Vladimir Vladimirovich!

Yezhednevniy Zhurnal

March 28, 2008

[TN: Russians don’t say “Mr. Putin.” Instead, they refer to a person by his full first and middle name when they want to show respect. “Vladimir Vladimirovich” is the full first and middle name of Russian “president” Vladmir Putin, and also of Vladimir Pozner, TV talk-show host, pictured below]

Vladimir Pozner has disclosed to the world a terrible secret: on March 27, during a roundtable discussion on “moral and ethical issues in Russian television, and possible amendments to the Law on Mass Media”, he announced that there is no freedom of speech in the Russian mass media. The distinguished television alum further insisted that “our Law on Mass Media is failing in the most important respect: I can confirm that in our television programming, and not only our television programming, there is no freedom of speech.” For example, according to Pozner, during recent parliamentary and presidential elections “there were subjects that were completely off-limits: things that could not be talked about, things that could not be shown, people who could not be invited to speak on air.” Pozner supported the president of the National Association of Television Broadcasters (NAT) Eduard Sagalaev, who said in particular, “In television we have very little of the truth and a great deal of vulgarity.” “In Russia,” he went on to say, “an information policy has been established that de facto does not allow free discussions, and de facto does not allow live broadcasts. And I don’t know what to do about that.”

Sagalaev’s final phrase was especially pathetic – one had to think, What’s not to know? Just tell the truth, get rid of the vulgarities – and you’ll have free speech. These aren’t some kind of mythical figures, crankishly going on and on, these are you yourselves – Vladimir Pozner is one of the leading television journalists in the country. One should note that this is not the first time that Pozner has made such pronouncements. Once, after a viewing of the George Clooney film “Good Night and Good Luck”, he also bemoaned the cheapness and groveling nature of our television. Even on his Echo of Moscow “Vremena” radio program, he has said anyone could call in, “even Kasparov”. And not long ago he reassured us that there was no “black list” or political censorship in Russian television – there were just certain people who could not be invited to speak on the air. In reality, no matter what Pozner says about the “morals and ethics in Russian television”, nothing will change, and everyone knows it: neither television as a whole, nor the programs directed by Pozner himself. But here the question arises: Why all this talk and worry if you have no intention of doing anything about it? Could it be your bad conscience?

Truthfully, this is reminiscent of nothing so much as an alcoholic going on and on about the evils of drink.

—————————-

Igor Yakovlenko, Russian Journalists Union:

That Russia has lost over the last eight years the modicum of freedom of speech it enjoyed in the 1990s has become common knowledge and an established fact. The fact that Pozner has talked about this publicly is now a part of his personal biography. A good part.

The fact that Pozner is not doing anything in his own broadcasts to improve freedom of speech is due to the fact that Pozner is not the owner of the station where he works. The owner is the Kremlin, as is the case with all our other nationwide television stations as well – all are completely controlled by the government. Hence, Pozner is forced to play by the rules dictated to him by the owner – the Kremlin. If Pozner doesn’t abide by these rules, he will quickly disappear from the air, and he knows it perfectly well. Now a different question: Can one remain a journalist, while working on nationwide television? The answer most probably is “No”. Pozner tries, and sometimes succeeds. But lately, not much.

EDITORIAL: Russia and its Children

EDITORIAL

Russia and its Children

A little over a month after this blog was founded, we published a list of reasons for being a “russophobe” along with a definition of that key term. The first comment that post received, by someone who lacked the courage or initiative to make up a consistent name for him/herself, stated:

Does anyone actually read this blog? Yet another of the world’s overwritten, underread [sic] websites. You poor thing! You seem to spend so much time doing it, too! It’s hilariously bad.

That post now has 144 comments, and La Russophobe went on to become one of the most heavily trafficked Russia blogs on the planet and the dominant force in the Russia blogosphere, with nearly a quarter million visits to date. As we note at the bottom of our splash page, Vincent Van Gogh only sold two paintings while he was alive out of more than a thousand he created. Some people, especially those from the moronic Russophile set, seem to take quite some time to “get it.”

The #1 reason we gave for being a “russophobe” was:

Russia hates families, especially women and children. Domestic violence kills one Russian woman every 40 minutes. Ten times more Russian women are killed by their husbands than American women by theirs, although America has twice Russia’s population That means a woman’s chances of being killed by her husband are twenty times greater if she is a Russian. More than 1,200 adopted children have been murdered by their parents in Russia since 1991. The general murder rate in Russia is the fifth highest in the world even though the secret police run its government.

In other words, one can (and should) fear or hate Russia because it brutalizes its children and takes no action to reform. One despises Russians because one loves their babies more than they do. And one maintains that attitude until Russians remove its basis. Any other response, in our view, is facilitation, enabling, collaboration.

Such brutality towards children, you can well imagine, has a dire impact upon marital relations. Russia and its kissing cousin Belarus lead the world in destruction of the family through divorce, with two out of three Russian marriages ending that way. We noted in our “russophobe” post that, besides hating their spouses, Russians don’t feel too good about themselves either: Hence, one Russian person kills him/herself every ten minutes in Russia (that adds up to 60,000 per year or 41 suicides per 100,000 people — only Lithunania has more). This suicide rate is four times higher than for the United States.

In a recent column we report today from the Moscow Times, the brilliant Russian commentator Georgy Bovt, who hosts a program on Moscow’s City-FM radio station, told the paper’s readers more about this ongoing atrocity against Russia’s children. He noticed that while incidents of violence against Russian children by American adoptive parents, which are the rare exception to the general rule, get massive airtime on anti-American, state-owned Russian television whenever they occur, the Kremlin totally ignores the outrageous conduct of Russians themselves. And this doesn’t apply only to state-controlled media. When has “president” Putin ever given a speech demanding that Russians take better care of their children? His only noteworthy action regarding children during his first two terms was an initiative to bribe parents to have more children. Such an action, without dealing with the existing crisis, can only be viewed as insanely irresponsible and incendiary.

Bovt writes:

If we are so concerned about the fate of Russian children adopted by foreigners, why do we remain silent about the children adopted by Russians? There are no statistics available on domestic abuse cases of adopted children. We know only that 2,500 Russian children die at their parents’ hands every year, according to Interior Ministry statistics. We don’t know how many of those children were adopted because the country has no system for monitoring the progress of adopted children. But we do know that 1 million adoptive parents were deprived of their adoption rights because of child abuse. Another 2,500 families changed their minds and sent the children they had adopted back to the orphanages.

The answer to the question he asks, of course, is simple: Russian’s aren’t “so concerned.” In fact, they’re not concerned at all. What motivates them is not love for their children, but hatred for America. Bovt writes:

Russian laws governing adoptions by foreigners have gotten stricter in recent years. Even accredited adoption agencies are finding it difficult to manage — primarily because of the pervasive corruption among bureaucrats. Only in the last two years has the number of Russians adopting children — 7,000 — exceeded that of foreigners adopting Russian children — 6,000.

So foreigners care more about Russia’s children, and adopt more of them, than Russians themselves. And now, by imposing restrictions on that process, Russia is actually choking off that care, condemning its parentless children to lives of brutal isolation. In Russians’ view these children are garbage, but still too good to give to filth-ridden Americans.

That’s barbarism, pure and simple. Only such an attitude could explain why Russia loses up to one million people from its population every year as all manner of disease and pestilence ravage the nation. The average Russian man doesn’t live to see his sixtieth year, placing Russia outside the world’s top 100 nations in that category. Russia is, indeed, barbaric as a matter of statistics.

And it doesn’t care. As Bovt points out, it doesn’t even try to keep — much less publish — basic records regarding its performance, and even if it was doing so such data could not be taken seriously. Russians have chosen to be ruled by a proud KGB spy whose words are no more trustworthy than astrology. Bovt’s column itself is victimized by a failure to fully recognize this lack of reliability: When he states “we do know that 1 million adoptive parents were deprived of their adoption rights because of child abuse” he forgets to insert they key phrase “at least” to signal that this Russian data cannot be considered reliable and could well be a gross understatement — owing not merely to Kremlin dishonesty but also to Russia’s general tradition of bureaucratic corruption and incompetence.

According to Bovt’s Russian data, 2,500 Russian children are killed by their parents each year. Between 1976 and 2005, 511 American children under age 5 were killed each year by their parents. Demographic data of this kind is widely and freely available about American society, and reveals that America, with twice as many people as Russia, has five times fewer annual parental child murders than Russia. This means that its rate of child homicide is ten times lower than Russia’s. It’s possible that Bovt’s figures consider children older than five, but that is easily counterbalanced by the Kremlin’s documented dishonesty and incompetence in publishing such statistics.

This is merely one aspect of a much larger problem. The overall mortality rate in Putin’s Russia has been steadily rising throughout his tenure in office (it is up nearly 15% since 2003), and currently only 21 countries in the whole world have higher mortality rates than Russia. At 16/1,000 Russia’s mortality rate is double that of the United States, and the only thing Putin has been able to think of to deal with that reality is to bribe Russian parents to have more children. This classic Russian “solution” is actually worse than the existing problem. People don’t want children, but they do want money. So they take the money, have the child — and then what happens? That child will be lucky to live to see his 18th birthday, and if he does he’ll certainly be impacted by the fact that the only reason he exists is because he got paid. Meanwhile, nothing is done about Russia’s alarming mortality rate, which sees the average Russian man fail to reach his sixtieth year of life. From AIDS to smoking to house fires, Russia’s population is being wiped out by every scourge and disease imaginable, while the Kremlin ignores the problem and spends its cash buzzing America and Britain with strategic bombers and sending weaponry to the likes of Venezuela, Syria and Iran. Putin’s government is failing the people of the country totally, yet they yield to him uncontested power to even further destroy their children.

That is barbarism, pure and simple.

Russia has obliterated its mass media and clearly fears the revelation of humiliating data on topics like Russian families. America, by contrast, has the world’s most aggressive and dynamic media marketplace, and seems to lose no opportunity to criticize itself and unearth such data. It’s no coincidence, then, that America’s population is double that of Russia and its standard of living incomparably higher. Russia’s government has collapsed twice in the past century, while America has been stable and consistent for more than two centuries.

And Russia’s response, as Bovt notes with proper outrage, is apparently that it doesn’t mind destroying itself as long as it can simultaneously prove to itself that Americans are worse than they are, using bogus evidence served up by lackeys of a police state, just as was done in Soviet times, heedless of the fact that the Soviet Union collapsed and disappeared because of this insane policy.


Another Original LR Translation: Kozlovsky Speaks to Echo of Moscow

“Why do they want to evict the leader
of Oborona from his apartment?”

An interview with Oleg Kozlovsky

By Matvey Ganapolsky & Masha Mayers

Echo of Moscow Radio (Audio Link Available)

Originally Aired March 18, 2008

GANAPOLSKY: Our guest today is the leader of the movement “Oborona” — Oleg Kozlovsky. Greetings.

KOZLOVSKY: Good afternoon.

GANAPOLSKY: Tell us your story.

KOZLOVSKY: Well first of all, I heard your announcement today, and it was not completely accurate. So I think it would be best if I started from the very beginning. The problem is that the apartment I rent is located in the Khamovnika region of Moscow. Activists of the “Oborona” movement meet there fairly frequently, as do activists from a variety of other organizations, for example the group organizing the demonstration “For a Volunteer Army.” Yesterday I was summoned to meet with a local police officer named Sergei Alekseevich Nikolaev.

MAYERS: Did you bring a tape recorder with you?

KOZLOVSKY: That has not been my habit up to now, but perhaps I should have, because it was very interesting conversation. What most impressed me was the man’s frankness. I had expected that there would be a problem of some sort, but usually they try at least outwardly to maintain a certain neutrality and legality, and look for some kind of normal justification that will make them seem more-or-less decent. But this time everything was right out in the open. Cynical and plain. In a way I almost have to thank him for not being sneaky about it.

He began: “I’ve been told that an organization meets at your place, ‘The March of Those Who Disagree’, and a magazine where this organization is also talked about. Here’s the magazine, ‘Oborona’, which this group publishes. And it is my understanding that this is an undesirable organization for us here.” This is the usual basis for these sorts of complaints. “Now you understand,” he continued, “the Kremlin is located not far from where you live.” The Kremlin, in fact, is some distance away. But this is the Centralniy District, you see. “He himself may drive by.” And here he did not even mention the name, but simply motioned to Putin’s portrait on the wall. “You never can tell what might happen. So you should move somewhere out to Butovo, or better yet Zelenograd. There are a lot of regions somewhere further away, but not here. You shouldn’t be here. And I am going to do everything I can to make you leave quickly.”

So I said, “We have a completely legal, official rental agreement. We have every right to remain here until July. We are not violating any laws.”

“I understand completely,” replied the policeman. “I will not interfere in your civil rights. But I think that you need to revoke your contract. This should be considered a force-majeure situation.”

At the same time, they began putting pressure on my landlords. They told them that an extremist organization was located in their building. That they were practically preparing acts of terrorism. I was told that if I did not leave voluntarily they would turn to the homeowners of the building, who would write complaints that we were loud, held drunken parties, engaged in debauchery, and bothered everyone. That I would be visited every day by the police, who would conduct searches and force everyone to submit written explanations for their presence. In general, they would use every means to force us to leave. The policeman added that he would send reports to the FSB, MVD headquarters, and every other agency of that type, in which he would include any political publications that mentioned “Oborona”, so that they too would take part in this process. In other words, the situation was made absolutely clear, with no attempt at creating any kind of legal basis. Just a completely brazen, simple, cynical racket or more exactly – blackmail.

MAYERS: So you didn’t actually engage in any drunkenness or debauchery there? It’s a little hard to imagine, given that hot-blooded young men from the “Oborona” movement were gathering in your apartment to talk about the current realities in Russia.

GANAPOLSKY: How do you know they were hot-blooded?

MAYERS: And maybe with girls too. Are you sure you never raised your voices there?

KOZLOVSKY: Our hot-blooded young men and women know all too well that we are under constant scrutiny, that we need to cross the road at the right place, so that no one will take notice of us and detain us. We’ve had things like that happen to us, where the OMON riot police have detained us literally for crossing the street in the wrong spot. So obviously, in the places where we meet, we strictly adhere to the letter of the law, so as not to give them the slightest cause to pick on us.

GANAPOLSKY: What does you landlord think about all this?

KOZLOVSKY: I spoke with my landlords about all this in fairly great detail even before this conversation, and they were inclined to abide by the rental agreement, at least until it expires in July. But after that, they said, we’ll have to wait and see.

GANAPOLSKY: And what was the result of the pressure they put on your neighbors?

KOZLOVSKY: I don’t know yet. But I think it is entirely likely that they will start writing things, because people do not usually want to argue with police, and in any Moscow entryway you can find one resident or another who will gladly create a stink against anyone. Especially if you tell them that these people present a great danger, are criminals and extremists, and may blow up your building any day now.

GANAPOLSKY: We can imagine that his will be set in motion too, because once someone decides to take up this task, it becomes his sacred mission. It’s also possible that the policeman is being pressured himself to get you out of there. Do you plan to leave, or do you have any way of defending yourself?

KOZLOVSKY: Legally, and according to my rental agreement, we have the right to remain in this place for as long as the agreement is in force, and we plan to do that. If they try to evict us by some illegal means, we will defend ourselves. Both by all legal means, and simply physically, we will hold onto this place, because the police have no legal grounds for their demands.

GANAPOLSKY: But what if the landlords on their own revoke the contract, claiming that they have a sick grandmother coming in from Narofominsk?

KOZLOVSKY: Then that will be decided in court. Until the court decides that there is actually some legal basis for evicting us, we will stay here. We have fulfilled all our obligations, and we continue to fulfill them. We have always paid our rent on time. So there is not going to be any backing down on our side.

GANAPOLSKY: A lot of our radio listeners probably do not know about your movement. What are your aims, your goals?

KOZLOVSKY: On the one hand our aims are enormous, on the other hand they are nothing less than absolutely necessary. These are, foremost, the establishment in Russia of a political system which will allow regular citizens to have an influence on events in the country, on who they elect, on what these elected representatives do; a system that will provide a return channel of communication between the government and the people. Right now there is nothing like that. I don’t think anyone right now entertains any illusions about the influence we can have on any of the country’s decisions.

GANAPOLSKY: So what are you going to do about it? Where’s the struggle?

KOZLOVSKY: First of all, this is, of course, about working with people, with society. Because the root of the problem is always buried there: In the fact that our people usually either do not know their rights, or are afraid to defend them; in how our people often take it as normal that the government is allowed to treat them like dirt – at best, as nothing more than tax-providers. So we work through the Internet, carry out protests, try and reach people through the mass media. We also go out and distribute leaflets, newspapers and bumper stickers to young people, students, and those who have finished, let’s say, college. And in this way we make contact with a fairly large number of people in Russia. Probably tens of thousands of people every year.

GANAPOLSKY: And how many of you are there?

KOZLOVSKY: There are about one thousand of us in Russia.

GANAPOLSKY: Do you ever get the sense that this campaign of repression that is underway is not directed against your movement, against your one-thousand people, but against you personally? I’m thinking of your story with the army. And now with your apartment.

KOZLOVSKY: The story with the army recently came to a complete close. Exactly two weeks ago I told you here how it went. In December I was illegally inducted into the army for two and a half months. I was released just two days after the end of the elections, when it became clear, in their opinion, that I no longer presented any particular threat.

MAYERS: But as you can see, you do present a threat. Especially with your logo.

KOZLOVSKY: I don’t think this is just about me. I may be a sort of additional irritant, but one soldier does not make a battle. I don’t think that as just Oleg Kozlovsky I have the power to irritate anyone. More likely, it is the activities of the organization itself, its various members, who continued the organization’s activities in my absence and continue them now after my return. And, to be sure, this complicates the lives of the authorities.

GANAPOLSKY: Who are your role models? Or is it to each his own?

KOZLOVSKY: I would not call any of the current crop of politicians our role model, hero or leader, either formally or informally. That’s because we are made up of a lot of different types of people, with different sympathies and interests. Our people have many different points of view. There are liberals, those of a leftist point of view, and patriots. But I think that in our methods or perhaps in the way we view our work, we are closest to Mahatma Gandhi – with whom Putin never would have had anything to say, by the way. But if for Putin this was just a joke, we regard Gandhi’s activities with absolute seriousness. These were the sort of people who, resolutely without the use of force, and guided by their ideals, fought for their ideals.

GANAPOLSKY: Let’s take a vote. Sitting here with us is Oleg Kozlovsky, and I want to ask everyone: What do you think, should Mr. Kozlovsky, along with his comrades and his magazines, and his singing of revolutionary hymns – not too loud, mind you, so that now one should hear what they are doing – should he be forced to leave this apartment.

MAYERS: A bad one.

KOZLOVSKY: Yes. And the further away the better. Because God only knows what they are doing in there. He says one thing, but maybe they are doing something completely different.

(Break for instructions on voting by telephone.)

GANAPOLSKY: I would like to hear from just those listeners who believe that the demands made of Kozlovsky are justified. You need to call and say: “Oh, you poor young man, sitting in this apartment out of love for liberalism. Then some monsters come and throw grenades in it, but that’s entirely understandable.” Those of you who think that Kozlovsky and people like him, who generally, to be honest…

KOZLOVSKY: Need to move at least 101 kilometers outside Moscow.

GANAPOLSKY: I didn’t say it, he himself said it! Call and you can tell Mr. Kozlovsky himself what a bad guy he is. Because there is a certain percentage of our listeners, and not just the young ones, who think that he and his friends should get out. Hello.

LISTENER: Good afternoon. Mikhail. City of Moscow. I think these young people should leave the apartment. Stop all their private activities. Residential buildings are for living in, whereas these sorts of meetings…

GANAPOLSKY: Understood. This is not an office. It’s an apartment, not an office.

KOZLOVSKY: Right. Let me explain why we have the right to be there. The “Oborona” movement is not registered, so there is no violation of the law. It is not required to register by law. Accordingly, it has no legal identity, and therefore cannot rent an office, apartment, hall, or anything.

GANAPOLSKY: There you have it.

KOZLOVSKY: But we have the constitutional right to assemble.

GANAPOLSKY: Next caller.

CALLER: Hello, this is Semyon. These kids are doing what they can, and I think what they are doing is completely normal and good. The authorities think we are all just so much trash…

GANAPOLSKY: I asked that only those who think that he should leave should call! Anyway, whatever the authorities may think of someone, whatever you allow yourself to be called, and that’s what you become. The authorities do not consider me, for example, trash, because I don’t allow them to. And apparently you don’t allow them to either.

MAYERS: And Oleg Kozlovsky so far is not allowing them to evict him from his apartment to somewhere 101 kilometers outside Moscow.

GANAPOLSKY: They haven’t tried to yet.

MAYERS: What do you mean, of course they have.

GANAPOLSKY: Hello. Greetings.

LISTENER: Where is this Kozlov registered, anyway?

GANAPOLSKY: First, you need to start with the phrase, “Good afternoon.”

LISTENER: Good afternoon.

GANAPOLSKY: Secondly, you need to introduce yourself.

LISTENER: Moscow. Konstantin.

GANAPOLSKY: And third, it’s not Kozlov, it’s Kozlovsky.

LISTENER: Where is he registered?

KOZLOVSKY: I am registered at the apartment where my parents live, in Moscow.

LISTENER: Then go to your parents’ apartment and hold your meetings there.

GANAPOLSKY: Why?

LISTENER: Well, who needs him here anyway?

GANAPOLSKY: Who do you mean by “who”?

MAYERS: And where is here?

LISTENER: Well, in this building.

GANAPOLSKY: Well, who needs you on this radio program?

LISTENER: F–k you.

GANAPOLSKY: You heard him, right?

MAYERS: I had nothing to cover my ears with.

GANAPOLSKY: Yeah, they’re out there.

MAYERS: And I so adore them.

GANAPOLSKY: Go get your prostrate gland massaged, Konstantin – believe me, it will help. Next question.

LISTENER: Good afternoon. Aleksandr, in Ivanteevka. I think the authorities are proceeding absolutely correctly, even if it is by an illegal route. Because all of Russian history shows that from meetings like this both the “will of the people” and the Bolsheviks can gather together and pick away at the authorities. So of course they have to nip it in the bud.

GANAPOLSKY: You really think that?

LISTENER: Yes.

GANAPOLSKY: Well let’s talk about this. Maybe you have a point.

KOZLOVSKY: This is a very good commentary. The caller exceptionally well, in my view, reflects the official position: “So what if it is illegal, it’s still the right thing to do.” And here lies our problem. For us, the law was not written for the government to abide by. The law applies only to individuals. And it can be used against them.

LISTENER: That’s absolutely right. Because in this country, we live under a practically totalitarian government. So what’s surprising is…

GANAPOLSKY: Wait a minute. You’re being ironic. You’re telling a joke.

LISTENER: No, I’m not joking.

GANAPOLSKY: Which side did you vote on?

KOZLOVSKY: That he should be evicted.

GANAPOLSKY: Explain why that is so. Kozlovsky has said that there is no real legal basis for this. So?

MAYERS: But you are saying maybe not under the law, but by an understanding.

LISTENER: Why by an understanding?

MAYERS: You said: “It’s not legal, but it’s right.”

LISTENER: Because every government has to defend itself. That’s what it was created for.

MAYERS: It was created for that?

KOZLOVSKY: I thought the government was supposed to be used to defend us, its citizens.

LISTENER: We are talking about Russia. Let’s not make references to the western experience…

MAYERS: Any person should be defended from other people.

GANAPOLSKY: There are listeners who play this game. He’s say, sure, if we were in America, then of course they should fire this policeman. But since we live in Russia, it’s completely understandable. And that explains why you should be kicked out of your apartment. In other words, he’s generally a liberal, but in this case he will explain why you need to be kicked out. This is very elaborate. You won’t be able to grasp this, Kozlovsky. You’re out there with your Oborona, working with the people, but we have such a unique group of people here on the air.

KOZLOVSKY: All our people are unique.

MAYERS: Sending Lenin into exile was great. But they should have sent the Decembrists out
too, for example, well before 14 December – many kilometers out.

GANAPOLSKY: Okay. We need to finish up. You are gradually going to become a regular on “Echo Moscow” radio programs. Because first they haul you off somewhere, then they try to kick you out of somewhere else. First into the army – instead of kicking you out, they hauled you off. And now you’re back in your apartment, and instead of just leaving you alone, they try to kick you out. What’s a guy to do?

MAYERS: The vote is finished. By 82% to 18%, listeners do not support the position of the authorities.

GANAPOLSKY: Thanks for coming. As you know, we can’t draw any conclusions from this program. And we also can neither support nor condemn you. This is just civil society, such as it is. And you see what it is.

MAYERS: How civil it is.

KOZLOVSKY: Thank you.

GANAPOLSKY: But we gave you some airtime so you could tell us about the moral values of this great land, which is getting up off its knees in such an unusual way.

Russia Brutalizes Children, Doesn’t Care

Georgy Bovt, writing in the Moscow Times:

Whenever something bad happens to a Russian child who was adopted by parents from the United States, Russian television is bound to show it as the leading story. These media reports, however, rarely dig below the surface to find out what motivated foreigners to adopt these children in the first place and to explain why these adoptions ended so tragically.

In place of objective reporting, the Russian media are quick to pass judgment on the adoptive parents, leading viewers to conclude that Americans adopt Russian children to abuse them — and, in extreme cases, to kill them. After each incident, lawmakers toughen procedures for foreign adoptions and sometimes call for their outright prohibition.

The recent story of the Emelyantsev family from Utah is a typical example. The mother, Kimberly, is from the United States, and the father, Fyodor, is a Russian citizen. Their 14-month-old adopted Russian boy died on March 7. An autopsy determined that the child had died from a skull fracture that doctors said was the result of blunt-force trauma. Both parents were arrested, and Kimberly Emelyantsev was charged with first-degree murder.

The boy was one of three Russian children the family had adopted in addition to the two children they already had. Two of the adopted children suffered from serious illnesses, and the Emelyantsevs knowingly took them in. The boy who died had suffered from Down syndrome. The medical aspect of the Emelyantsev case is important, because it is nearly impossible for foreigners to adopt healthy Russian orphans. Instead, they adopt mostly handicapped children or those with serious hereditary illnesses.

After the Emelyantsev case was widely publicized, the public received another dose of anti-Americanism. In reality, such incidents in the United States occur in only one of every 15,000 adoption cases. U.S. and Canadian parents adopted around 15,000 Russian children in recent years, and there were 14 to 16 known deaths among all adopted children over the last 10 years. Two years ago, following a similar tragedy involving a Russian child adopted by American parents, U.S. authorities tried to organize a media tour to show how adopted children from Russia were faring in their new country and how the system for monitoring their living conditions was functioning. They invited a few members of the State Duma and the Federation Council, but there were no takers.

Russian laws governing adoptions by foreigners have gotten stricter in recent years. Even accredited adoption agencies are finding it difficult to manage — primarily because of the pervasive corruption among bureaucrats. Only in the last two years has the number of Russians adopting children — 7,000 — exceeded that of foreigners adopting Russian children — 6,000.

The Education and Science Ministry is now demanding tougher rules for overseas adoptive parents, suggesting that they be obligated to register with the state’s orphan database, undergo psychological testing and take a preparatory course for bringing adopted children into the home.

Such measures are worthwhile, but if we are so concerned about the fate of Russian children adopted by foreigners, why do we remain silent about the children adopted by Russians? There are no statistics available on domestic abuse cases of adopted children. We know only that 2,500 Russian children die at their parents’ hands every year, according to Interior Ministry statistics. We don’t know how many of those children were adopted because the country has no system for monitoring the progress of adopted children. But we do know that 1 million adoptive parents were deprived of their adoption rights because of child abuse. Another 2,500 families changed their minds and sent the children they had adopted back to the orphanages.

Unfortunately, you rarely see these stories on Russian television. Is it really more important for us to show that Americans are worse than Russians?

Russia Brutalizes Children, Doesn’t Care

Georgy Bovt, writing in the Moscow Times:

Whenever something bad happens to a Russian child who was adopted by parents from the United States, Russian television is bound to show it as the leading story. These media reports, however, rarely dig below the surface to find out what motivated foreigners to adopt these children in the first place and to explain why these adoptions ended so tragically.

In place of objective reporting, the Russian media are quick to pass judgment on the adoptive parents, leading viewers to conclude that Americans adopt Russian children to abuse them — and, in extreme cases, to kill them. After each incident, lawmakers toughen procedures for foreign adoptions and sometimes call for their outright prohibition.

The recent story of the Emelyantsev family from Utah is a typical example. The mother, Kimberly, is from the United States, and the father, Fyodor, is a Russian citizen. Their 14-month-old adopted Russian boy died on March 7. An autopsy determined that the child had died from a skull fracture that doctors said was the result of blunt-force trauma. Both parents were arrested, and Kimberly Emelyantsev was charged with first-degree murder.

The boy was one of three Russian children the family had adopted in addition to the two children they already had. Two of the adopted children suffered from serious illnesses, and the Emelyantsevs knowingly took them in. The boy who died had suffered from Down syndrome. The medical aspect of the Emelyantsev case is important, because it is nearly impossible for foreigners to adopt healthy Russian orphans. Instead, they adopt mostly handicapped children or those with serious hereditary illnesses.

After the Emelyantsev case was widely publicized, the public received another dose of anti-Americanism. In reality, such incidents in the United States occur in only one of every 15,000 adoption cases. U.S. and Canadian parents adopted around 15,000 Russian children in recent years, and there were 14 to 16 known deaths among all adopted children over the last 10 years. Two years ago, following a similar tragedy involving a Russian child adopted by American parents, U.S. authorities tried to organize a media tour to show how adopted children from Russia were faring in their new country and how the system for monitoring their living conditions was functioning. They invited a few members of the State Duma and the Federation Council, but there were no takers.

Russian laws governing adoptions by foreigners have gotten stricter in recent years. Even accredited adoption agencies are finding it difficult to manage — primarily because of the pervasive corruption among bureaucrats. Only in the last two years has the number of Russians adopting children — 7,000 — exceeded that of foreigners adopting Russian children — 6,000.

The Education and Science Ministry is now demanding tougher rules for overseas adoptive parents, suggesting that they be obligated to register with the state’s orphan database, undergo psychological testing and take a preparatory course for bringing adopted children into the home.

Such measures are worthwhile, but if we are so concerned about the fate of Russian children adopted by foreigners, why do we remain silent about the children adopted by Russians? There are no statistics available on domestic abuse cases of adopted children. We know only that 2,500 Russian children die at their parents’ hands every year, according to Interior Ministry statistics. We don’t know how many of those children were adopted because the country has no system for monitoring the progress of adopted children. But we do know that 1 million adoptive parents were deprived of their adoption rights because of child abuse. Another 2,500 families changed their minds and sent the children they had adopted back to the orphanages.

Unfortunately, you rarely see these stories on Russian television. Is it really more important for us to show that Americans are worse than Russians?

Russia Brutalizes Children, Doesn’t Care

Georgy Bovt, writing in the Moscow Times:

Whenever something bad happens to a Russian child who was adopted by parents from the United States, Russian television is bound to show it as the leading story. These media reports, however, rarely dig below the surface to find out what motivated foreigners to adopt these children in the first place and to explain why these adoptions ended so tragically.

In place of objective reporting, the Russian media are quick to pass judgment on the adoptive parents, leading viewers to conclude that Americans adopt Russian children to abuse them — and, in extreme cases, to kill them. After each incident, lawmakers toughen procedures for foreign adoptions and sometimes call for their outright prohibition.

The recent story of the Emelyantsev family from Utah is a typical example. The mother, Kimberly, is from the United States, and the father, Fyodor, is a Russian citizen. Their 14-month-old adopted Russian boy died on March 7. An autopsy determined that the child had died from a skull fracture that doctors said was the result of blunt-force trauma. Both parents were arrested, and Kimberly Emelyantsev was charged with first-degree murder.

The boy was one of three Russian children the family had adopted in addition to the two children they already had. Two of the adopted children suffered from serious illnesses, and the Emelyantsevs knowingly took them in. The boy who died had suffered from Down syndrome. The medical aspect of the Emelyantsev case is important, because it is nearly impossible for foreigners to adopt healthy Russian orphans. Instead, they adopt mostly handicapped children or those with serious hereditary illnesses.

After the Emelyantsev case was widely publicized, the public received another dose of anti-Americanism. In reality, such incidents in the United States occur in only one of every 15,000 adoption cases. U.S. and Canadian parents adopted around 15,000 Russian children in recent years, and there were 14 to 16 known deaths among all adopted children over the last 10 years. Two years ago, following a similar tragedy involving a Russian child adopted by American parents, U.S. authorities tried to organize a media tour to show how adopted children from Russia were faring in their new country and how the system for monitoring their living conditions was functioning. They invited a few members of the State Duma and the Federation Council, but there were no takers.

Russian laws governing adoptions by foreigners have gotten stricter in recent years. Even accredited adoption agencies are finding it difficult to manage — primarily because of the pervasive corruption among bureaucrats. Only in the last two years has the number of Russians adopting children — 7,000 — exceeded that of foreigners adopting Russian children — 6,000.

The Education and Science Ministry is now demanding tougher rules for overseas adoptive parents, suggesting that they be obligated to register with the state’s orphan database, undergo psychological testing and take a preparatory course for bringing adopted children into the home.

Such measures are worthwhile, but if we are so concerned about the fate of Russian children adopted by foreigners, why do we remain silent about the children adopted by Russians? There are no statistics available on domestic abuse cases of adopted children. We know only that 2,500 Russian children die at their parents’ hands every year, according to Interior Ministry statistics. We don’t know how many of those children were adopted because the country has no system for monitoring the progress of adopted children. But we do know that 1 million adoptive parents were deprived of their adoption rights because of child abuse. Another 2,500 families changed their minds and sent the children they had adopted back to the orphanages.

Unfortunately, you rarely see these stories on Russian television. Is it really more important for us to show that Americans are worse than Russians?