Daily Archives: March 19, 2008

March 19, 2008 — Contents

TUESDAY MARCH 19 CONTENTS

(1) EDITORIAL: Dollars and No Sense

(2) Another Original LR Translation: The Persecution of Reznick

(3) Pasko Interviews Kozlovsky, Part II

(4) Annals of Russian “Healthcare”

(5) Annals of Russian “Education”

NOTE: No sooner did he free himself from illegal military confinement than Oleg Kozlovsky found himself facing a concerted effort by the Kremlin to oust him from his headquarters in Moscow, similar to what has gone on with other dissident leaders. Publius Pundit has the details. Comments showing support for Oleg are encouraged.

NOTE: We’ve been saying all along that new Russian “president” Dimitri Medvedev is the perfect cover (and fall guy) for a massive crackdown on human rights. It’ll be harder for the West to sink its teeth into him since he’s not KGB like Putin, and Putin can stay all nice and “clean” while Medvedev does the dirty work of finally wiping out the last traces of civil society in Russia, the ones that won’t go down without a fight. Now, heroic Russian journalist Grigori Pasko reports the horrifying details, on Robert Amsterdam’s blog. Check it out!

EDITORIAL: Dollars and no Sense

EDITORIAL

Dollars and No Sense

Despite the fact that oil prices have spiked to their highest level in recent memory, the Russian stock market is down nearly 20% since New Year’s Day. The Moscow Times quotes Roland Nash, head of research at Renaissance Capital: “The U.S. is looking like it will go through a really torrid time over the next few trading sessions, and, therefore, Russia is going to suffer alongside it.”

Say what?

Isn’t Russia supposed to be the antithesis of the United States? If the U.S. economy is suffering, shouldn’t that mean Russia is doing well? If the price of oil is hobbling the U.S. economy, shouldn’t that mean Russia, reaping a windfall of oil profit, is roaring ahead? If the U.S. dollar is in freefall, and it is, and the ruble is appreciating, doesn’t that mean rosy days ahead for Russia?

Nope.

On Monday alone, the MICEX Russian stock index was at one point down nearly 6% of its total value, and closed down over 4%. MT columnist Alexei Bayer explained: “The United States is not only the world’s largest consumer, absorbing one-third of its resources, it is the linchpin of the world economy. The dollar is central to the global financial system. To hope that the rest of the world can survive a U.S. downturn unscathed is like saying that a high-stakes poker game can go on uninterrupted on the top deck of the Titanic while its hull is taking in water.”

In other words, it’s not wrong to say that the United States is the world’s largest consumer of Russian oil, the commodity that Russia’s economy relies upon for subsistence. Even if America doesn’t purchase Russia’s oil directly, the demand it creates establishes the price Russia sells at. If America’s economy tanks, Russia’s oil becomes substantially less valuable. Russia’s income plunges, and Russia’s economy goes right down too.

You’d think Russians would understand this. You’d think, in fact, that nobody in the world would be a bigger cheerleader for the United States than Russia, that the country would want to go out of its way to support the U.S. economy any way possible. But then again, after decades of Soviet oppression, you’d think the last thing any Russia would consider doing would be to vote for a proud KGB spy as national leader.

Russians have a way of surprising you, don’t they?

Now, to be sure, some of this may be dawning on the malignant little troll who “governs” Russia. The MT reports that Vladimir Putin is all a-twitter over a letter he recently received from U.S. President Bush. Putin stated: “It’s a serious document and we analyzed it carefully. If we manage to agree on its main provisions, we will be able to say that our dialogue is progressing successfully.” Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko was quoted as saying: “We would prefer measures of cooperation, not confrontation.”

Likely, he’d also prefer that his stock market was up 20%, rather than down.

But if that is so, you have to wonder why Russia is buzzing American military targets with nuclear bombers. Why, if Russia wants cooperation, would it be sending dangerous weapons to American foes like Iran and Venezuela? If Russia doesn’t want confrontation, why wouldn’t it respond to U.S. criticism regarding human rights by asking what changes it might make to improve the human rights climate, instead of attacking the U.S. as an equally egregious human rights abuser?

In fact, try to name just one concrete step taken by Russia in the past year to demonstrate cooperation with the United States. Name one time, if you can, when “President” Putin spoke to his nation and told them they shouldn’t hate the United States or wish it ill, because Russia’s economy depends on American spending. Name one time, in his whole presidency, that President Putin has complimented America on something, expressed admiration for America, or sided with America against one of its enemies.

You can’t do it, can you?

And, on the other hand, all you have to do is open the Moscow Times on any given day and you’ll see stories like the one from March 4th, reporting on the activities of the “Nashi” (“us Slavic Russians”) youth cult. 5,500 youths marched unimpeded through the streets of Moscow to the U.S. Embassy, where they screeched boorish slogans like: “Let them teach their wives to make shchi!” That’s what “President” Putin had said a few weeks earlier when asked about foreign criticism of Russian democracy.

Apparently, Russians are not overly familiar — though they are a nation rich in fairy tales — with the story of the goose which laid golden eggs. Then again, if one reflects on the infamous behavior of Nikita Khrushchev at the United Nations — when he removed his shoe, used it for a gavel and shouted “we will bury you!” — perhaps one might conclude that in Russia, it’s not consider logical do do anything but kill such a goose and have a fine meal. After all, given the stark bleakness of Russia’s tomorrows when viewed in hindsight, maybe Russians are right in concluding that they should live only for today and the gratification of the moment.

Another Original LR Translation: Persecuting Yabloko’s Reznick, by our Original Translator

A member of the Oborona youth opposition group protesting
the detention of Yabloko opposition leader Maxim Reznick

Without Due Process

Yezhednevniy Zhurnal

March 13, 2008

Suren Yedigarov, an activist of the United Civil Front (Obedinenniy Grazhdanskiy Front – OGF), was arrested and beaten in Moscow. He was holding a single-person picket in front of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) building on Zhitnaya Street in support of Maksim Reznik, the recently jailed leader of the Saint Petersburg office of the Yabloko political party. On Thursday morning Yedigarov was arrested by police officers and taken to the Yakimanka police station. At the station, Yedigarov was beaten, then taken away in an ambulance to City Hospital No. 7, where he as diagnosed with a concussion, eye injury, abrasions and bruises. No record of Yedigarov’s arrest was made at the Yakimanka police station. Yedigarov plans to file a complaint against the police officers involved. The day before, three other participants in single-person pickets supporting Reznik were arrested. The first was another OGF activist, Ida Miloslavova, who was arrested without any reason given. Then they arrested two activists as they were changing shifts, Aleksey Kazakov of OGF and Maria Koleda of “The Other Russia”, who was holding a sign that read “Freedom for Political Prisoners”. All three were taken to the Yakimanka police station. According to the arrested, none of their arrests were recorded at the police station, but the chief of the Yakimanka police station destroyed a telephone belonging to Kazakov and threatened all three with imprisonment and physical reprisals. The pickets in support of Reznik are continuing in Moscow, in front of the General Prosecutor’s office on Bolshaya Dmitrovka street and the MVD building on Zhitnaya Street. Single-person pickets are also in progress in Saint Petersburg.

Ilya Yashin, “Yabloko” Political Party, March 13:

A series of single-person pickets is continuing today, in support of Maksim Reznik and demanding his immediate release. We have once again encountered the tried-and-true tactic of provocation, which was previously used, in particular, during pickets in support of Gary Kasparov after he was arrested.

The tactic is very simple: a single-person picket does not require permission from the authorities, so for this reason several provocateurs will approach the single picketer with signs or other paraphernalia – at which point the picket stops being single-person and a basis is formally created for the arrest of the “participants”.

Maria Gaidar encountered such a situation today: at two o’clock she took up her position in front of the General Prosecutor’s Office building, holding a sign, and just then two provocateurs approached her (they had no paraphernalia, because seeing that they were provocateurs we took away their signs). Exactly then two policemen appeared, and on the pretext of “participation in an unauthorized demonstration” arrested Maria, the two provocateurs, and me (although at that moment I was in fact not participating in the picket).

We were taken to the Tverskoye police station, where I was almost immediately released, without any record of my arrest or reason given. Maria Gaidar and the provocateurs are still there.

We consider this arrest illegal, inasmuch as the provocateurs simply stood alongside Ms. Gaidar, without any signs or banners – just stood alongside. By this logic of the law enforcement agencies, any person who comes up to a picketer (a journalist, bystander, or anyone else) becomes a participant in a “demonstration”.

On the bright side, no one has bothered the picketers since this incident – people are able to take their turns quietly standing there. Apparently the authorities have run out of provocateurs.

What is going on right now in Saint Petersburg – with the arrest of Reznik, the whole story with the Yabloko/Saint Petersburg office (we learned today that it is about to undergo an inquiry from the Prosecutor’s office for “extremism”) – all of this is, I am certain, a political repression against the Yabloko political party. I think that the initiative came from the city authorities, but things like this cannot help but be approved at the very top.

Another Original LR Translation: Persecuting Yabloko’s Reznick, by our Original Translator

A member of the Oborona youth opposition group protesting
the detention of Yabloko opposition leader Maxim Reznick

Without Due Process

Yezhednevniy Zhurnal

March 13, 2008

Suren Yedigarov, an activist of the United Civil Front (Obedinenniy Grazhdanskiy Front – OGF), was arrested and beaten in Moscow. He was holding a single-person picket in front of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) building on Zhitnaya Street in support of Maksim Reznik, the recently jailed leader of the Saint Petersburg office of the Yabloko political party. On Thursday morning Yedigarov was arrested by police officers and taken to the Yakimanka police station. At the station, Yedigarov was beaten, then taken away in an ambulance to City Hospital No. 7, where he as diagnosed with a concussion, eye injury, abrasions and bruises. No record of Yedigarov’s arrest was made at the Yakimanka police station. Yedigarov plans to file a complaint against the police officers involved. The day before, three other participants in single-person pickets supporting Reznik were arrested. The first was another OGF activist, Ida Miloslavova, who was arrested without any reason given. Then they arrested two activists as they were changing shifts, Aleksey Kazakov of OGF and Maria Koleda of “The Other Russia”, who was holding a sign that read “Freedom for Political Prisoners”. All three were taken to the Yakimanka police station. According to the arrested, none of their arrests were recorded at the police station, but the chief of the Yakimanka police station destroyed a telephone belonging to Kazakov and threatened all three with imprisonment and physical reprisals. The pickets in support of Reznik are continuing in Moscow, in front of the General Prosecutor’s office on Bolshaya Dmitrovka street and the MVD building on Zhitnaya Street. Single-person pickets are also in progress in Saint Petersburg.

Ilya Yashin, “Yabloko” Political Party, March 13:

A series of single-person pickets is continuing today, in support of Maksim Reznik and demanding his immediate release. We have once again encountered the tried-and-true tactic of provocation, which was previously used, in particular, during pickets in support of Gary Kasparov after he was arrested.

The tactic is very simple: a single-person picket does not require permission from the authorities, so for this reason several provocateurs will approach the single picketer with signs or other paraphernalia – at which point the picket stops being single-person and a basis is formally created for the arrest of the “participants”.

Maria Gaidar encountered such a situation today: at two o’clock she took up her position in front of the General Prosecutor’s Office building, holding a sign, and just then two provocateurs approached her (they had no paraphernalia, because seeing that they were provocateurs we took away their signs). Exactly then two policemen appeared, and on the pretext of “participation in an unauthorized demonstration” arrested Maria, the two provocateurs, and me (although at that moment I was in fact not participating in the picket).

We were taken to the Tverskoye police station, where I was almost immediately released, without any record of my arrest or reason given. Maria Gaidar and the provocateurs are still there.

We consider this arrest illegal, inasmuch as the provocateurs simply stood alongside Ms. Gaidar, without any signs or banners – just stood alongside. By this logic of the law enforcement agencies, any person who comes up to a picketer (a journalist, bystander, or anyone else) becomes a participant in a “demonstration”.

On the bright side, no one has bothered the picketers since this incident – people are able to take their turns quietly standing there. Apparently the authorities have run out of provocateurs.

What is going on right now in Saint Petersburg – with the arrest of Reznik, the whole story with the Yabloko/Saint Petersburg office (we learned today that it is about to undergo an inquiry from the Prosecutor’s office for “extremism”) – all of this is, I am certain, a political repression against the Yabloko political party. I think that the initiative came from the city authorities, but things like this cannot help but be approved at the very top.

Another Original LR Translation: Persecuting Yabloko’s Reznick, by our Original Translator

A member of the Oborona youth opposition group protesting
the detention of Yabloko opposition leader Maxim Reznick

Without Due Process

Yezhednevniy Zhurnal

March 13, 2008

Suren Yedigarov, an activist of the United Civil Front (Obedinenniy Grazhdanskiy Front – OGF), was arrested and beaten in Moscow. He was holding a single-person picket in front of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) building on Zhitnaya Street in support of Maksim Reznik, the recently jailed leader of the Saint Petersburg office of the Yabloko political party. On Thursday morning Yedigarov was arrested by police officers and taken to the Yakimanka police station. At the station, Yedigarov was beaten, then taken away in an ambulance to City Hospital No. 7, where he as diagnosed with a concussion, eye injury, abrasions and bruises. No record of Yedigarov’s arrest was made at the Yakimanka police station. Yedigarov plans to file a complaint against the police officers involved. The day before, three other participants in single-person pickets supporting Reznik were arrested. The first was another OGF activist, Ida Miloslavova, who was arrested without any reason given. Then they arrested two activists as they were changing shifts, Aleksey Kazakov of OGF and Maria Koleda of “The Other Russia”, who was holding a sign that read “Freedom for Political Prisoners”. All three were taken to the Yakimanka police station. According to the arrested, none of their arrests were recorded at the police station, but the chief of the Yakimanka police station destroyed a telephone belonging to Kazakov and threatened all three with imprisonment and physical reprisals. The pickets in support of Reznik are continuing in Moscow, in front of the General Prosecutor’s office on Bolshaya Dmitrovka street and the MVD building on Zhitnaya Street. Single-person pickets are also in progress in Saint Petersburg.

Ilya Yashin, “Yabloko” Political Party, March 13:

A series of single-person pickets is continuing today, in support of Maksim Reznik and demanding his immediate release. We have once again encountered the tried-and-true tactic of provocation, which was previously used, in particular, during pickets in support of Gary Kasparov after he was arrested.

The tactic is very simple: a single-person picket does not require permission from the authorities, so for this reason several provocateurs will approach the single picketer with signs or other paraphernalia – at which point the picket stops being single-person and a basis is formally created for the arrest of the “participants”.

Maria Gaidar encountered such a situation today: at two o’clock she took up her position in front of the General Prosecutor’s Office building, holding a sign, and just then two provocateurs approached her (they had no paraphernalia, because seeing that they were provocateurs we took away their signs). Exactly then two policemen appeared, and on the pretext of “participation in an unauthorized demonstration” arrested Maria, the two provocateurs, and me (although at that moment I was in fact not participating in the picket).

We were taken to the Tverskoye police station, where I was almost immediately released, without any record of my arrest or reason given. Maria Gaidar and the provocateurs are still there.

We consider this arrest illegal, inasmuch as the provocateurs simply stood alongside Ms. Gaidar, without any signs or banners – just stood alongside. By this logic of the law enforcement agencies, any person who comes up to a picketer (a journalist, bystander, or anyone else) becomes a participant in a “demonstration”.

On the bright side, no one has bothered the picketers since this incident – people are able to take their turns quietly standing there. Apparently the authorities have run out of provocateurs.

What is going on right now in Saint Petersburg – with the arrest of Reznik, the whole story with the Yabloko/Saint Petersburg office (we learned today that it is about to undergo an inquiry from the Prosecutor’s office for “extremism”) – all of this is, I am certain, a political repression against the Yabloko political party. I think that the initiative came from the city authorities, but things like this cannot help but be approved at the very top.

Another Original LR Translation: Persecuting Yabloko’s Reznick, by our Original Translator

A member of the Oborona youth opposition group protesting
the detention of Yabloko opposition leader Maxim Reznick

Without Due Process

Yezhednevniy Zhurnal

March 13, 2008

Suren Yedigarov, an activist of the United Civil Front (Obedinenniy Grazhdanskiy Front – OGF), was arrested and beaten in Moscow. He was holding a single-person picket in front of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) building on Zhitnaya Street in support of Maksim Reznik, the recently jailed leader of the Saint Petersburg office of the Yabloko political party. On Thursday morning Yedigarov was arrested by police officers and taken to the Yakimanka police station. At the station, Yedigarov was beaten, then taken away in an ambulance to City Hospital No. 7, where he as diagnosed with a concussion, eye injury, abrasions and bruises. No record of Yedigarov’s arrest was made at the Yakimanka police station. Yedigarov plans to file a complaint against the police officers involved. The day before, three other participants in single-person pickets supporting Reznik were arrested. The first was another OGF activist, Ida Miloslavova, who was arrested without any reason given. Then they arrested two activists as they were changing shifts, Aleksey Kazakov of OGF and Maria Koleda of “The Other Russia”, who was holding a sign that read “Freedom for Political Prisoners”. All three were taken to the Yakimanka police station. According to the arrested, none of their arrests were recorded at the police station, but the chief of the Yakimanka police station destroyed a telephone belonging to Kazakov and threatened all three with imprisonment and physical reprisals. The pickets in support of Reznik are continuing in Moscow, in front of the General Prosecutor’s office on Bolshaya Dmitrovka street and the MVD building on Zhitnaya Street. Single-person pickets are also in progress in Saint Petersburg.

Ilya Yashin, “Yabloko” Political Party, March 13:

A series of single-person pickets is continuing today, in support of Maksim Reznik and demanding his immediate release. We have once again encountered the tried-and-true tactic of provocation, which was previously used, in particular, during pickets in support of Gary Kasparov after he was arrested.

The tactic is very simple: a single-person picket does not require permission from the authorities, so for this reason several provocateurs will approach the single picketer with signs or other paraphernalia – at which point the picket stops being single-person and a basis is formally created for the arrest of the “participants”.

Maria Gaidar encountered such a situation today: at two o’clock she took up her position in front of the General Prosecutor’s Office building, holding a sign, and just then two provocateurs approached her (they had no paraphernalia, because seeing that they were provocateurs we took away their signs). Exactly then two policemen appeared, and on the pretext of “participation in an unauthorized demonstration” arrested Maria, the two provocateurs, and me (although at that moment I was in fact not participating in the picket).

We were taken to the Tverskoye police station, where I was almost immediately released, without any record of my arrest or reason given. Maria Gaidar and the provocateurs are still there.

We consider this arrest illegal, inasmuch as the provocateurs simply stood alongside Ms. Gaidar, without any signs or banners – just stood alongside. By this logic of the law enforcement agencies, any person who comes up to a picketer (a journalist, bystander, or anyone else) becomes a participant in a “demonstration”.

On the bright side, no one has bothered the picketers since this incident – people are able to take their turns quietly standing there. Apparently the authorities have run out of provocateurs.

What is going on right now in Saint Petersburg – with the arrest of Reznik, the whole story with the Yabloko/Saint Petersburg office (we learned today that it is about to undergo an inquiry from the Prosecutor’s office for “extremism”) – all of this is, I am certain, a political repression against the Yabloko political party. I think that the initiative came from the city authorities, but things like this cannot help but be approved at the very top.

Another Original LR Translation: Persecuting Yabloko’s Reznick, by our Original Translator

A member of the Oborona youth opposition group protesting
the detention of Yabloko opposition leader Maxim Reznick

Without Due Process

Yezhednevniy Zhurnal

March 13, 2008

Suren Yedigarov, an activist of the United Civil Front (Obedinenniy Grazhdanskiy Front – OGF), was arrested and beaten in Moscow. He was holding a single-person picket in front of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) building on Zhitnaya Street in support of Maksim Reznik, the recently jailed leader of the Saint Petersburg office of the Yabloko political party. On Thursday morning Yedigarov was arrested by police officers and taken to the Yakimanka police station. At the station, Yedigarov was beaten, then taken away in an ambulance to City Hospital No. 7, where he as diagnosed with a concussion, eye injury, abrasions and bruises. No record of Yedigarov’s arrest was made at the Yakimanka police station. Yedigarov plans to file a complaint against the police officers involved. The day before, three other participants in single-person pickets supporting Reznik were arrested. The first was another OGF activist, Ida Miloslavova, who was arrested without any reason given. Then they arrested two activists as they were changing shifts, Aleksey Kazakov of OGF and Maria Koleda of “The Other Russia”, who was holding a sign that read “Freedom for Political Prisoners”. All three were taken to the Yakimanka police station. According to the arrested, none of their arrests were recorded at the police station, but the chief of the Yakimanka police station destroyed a telephone belonging to Kazakov and threatened all three with imprisonment and physical reprisals. The pickets in support of Reznik are continuing in Moscow, in front of the General Prosecutor’s office on Bolshaya Dmitrovka street and the MVD building on Zhitnaya Street. Single-person pickets are also in progress in Saint Petersburg.

Ilya Yashin, “Yabloko” Political Party, March 13:

A series of single-person pickets is continuing today, in support of Maksim Reznik and demanding his immediate release. We have once again encountered the tried-and-true tactic of provocation, which was previously used, in particular, during pickets in support of Gary Kasparov after he was arrested.

The tactic is very simple: a single-person picket does not require permission from the authorities, so for this reason several provocateurs will approach the single picketer with signs or other paraphernalia – at which point the picket stops being single-person and a basis is formally created for the arrest of the “participants”.

Maria Gaidar encountered such a situation today: at two o’clock she took up her position in front of the General Prosecutor’s Office building, holding a sign, and just then two provocateurs approached her (they had no paraphernalia, because seeing that they were provocateurs we took away their signs). Exactly then two policemen appeared, and on the pretext of “participation in an unauthorized demonstration” arrested Maria, the two provocateurs, and me (although at that moment I was in fact not participating in the picket).

We were taken to the Tverskoye police station, where I was almost immediately released, without any record of my arrest or reason given. Maria Gaidar and the provocateurs are still there.

We consider this arrest illegal, inasmuch as the provocateurs simply stood alongside Ms. Gaidar, without any signs or banners – just stood alongside. By this logic of the law enforcement agencies, any person who comes up to a picketer (a journalist, bystander, or anyone else) becomes a participant in a “demonstration”.

On the bright side, no one has bothered the picketers since this incident – people are able to take their turns quietly standing there. Apparently the authorities have run out of provocateurs.

What is going on right now in Saint Petersburg – with the arrest of Reznik, the whole story with the Yabloko/Saint Petersburg office (we learned today that it is about to undergo an inquiry from the Prosecutor’s office for “extremism”) – all of this is, I am certain, a political repression against the Yabloko political party. I think that the initiative came from the city authorities, but things like this cannot help but be approved at the very top.