Monthly Archives: August 2008

September 1, 2008 — Contents


(1) EDITORIAL: Words Americans Live by, Which Russians should Learn

(2) Another Original LR Translation: Nemtsov on Georgia

(3) Goble on Stalin’s Poison Pills

(4) Neo-Sovietism in Post-Putin Russia

(5) Russian Military Failure in Georgia

(6) Flirting with Stalin

(7) Moscow Times Readers condemn Vladimir Putin

(8) Exposing Russian Failure at the Olympics

NOTE: The subject of Josef Stalin, the greatest mass-murderer of Russians in history, comes up ever more often these days when discussing neo-Soviet Russia, and to prove it we have not one but two major items in today’s issue exposing the extent of Stalin’s significance in Putin’s Russia. In connection with them, we are delighted to see that our admired friend Paul Goble, whose brilliant work is regularly republished on this blog, had a recent lengthy op-ed column in the Moscow Times. The next step is for his must-read work to regularly appear in much larger forums.

NOTE: The government of Georgia has released an official chronology and itemization of damage done by invading Russian forces in the recent conflict. View it here.

NOTE: It’s Labor Day in the USA, and with a patriotic editorial we salute all the hard working people of the world including those who selflessly contribute their efforts to generate the content for this blog.  Because of the holiday, publishing of comments may be delayed somewhat over the holiday weekend.

EDITORIAL: Words Americans Live by, Which Russians Should Learn

E pluribus unum -- From the many, one.

E pluribus unum -- From the many, one.


Words Americans Live by, Which Russians Should Learn

Time and again over the last two centuries, malignant dictators of every stripe have calculated that Americans will not fight, that they are a soft people used to comfort and will not stand for principle against the determined onslaught of fire and steel.

Each and every time, those dictators have been proved wrong.  Each and every time, the United States has seen the dictator into his grave, obliterating his nation and rewriting the history of the world.

In this past century alone, the efforts of the United States have laid low Japan, Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.  Japan and Germany today are prosperous, happy nations that bear no resemblance to the maniacal dictatorships that challenged the United States and were destroyed by it.  And the United States bestrides the world like colossus.  Most recently, the United States was able tgo project its awesome military power to the other side globe and crush tyrranical regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan — projection of this kind of military power is something Russia has never accomplished once in its entire history, and cannot even dream of attempting. Little wonder Russia’s autocrats became so nervous about it.

But it now appears that the job in regard to the USSR was not completed.  The United States, it now seems foolishly, accepted the surrender of the USSR on highly favorable terms for Russia rather than physically liquidating it’s malignant regime when it had the chance, as had been done in Japan and Germany.   Once again, the forces of venal dictatorship, of haughty childish contempt for American values and indeed for the value of individual human life itself, rise beyond a new Iron Curtain. Once again, ignorant gray little men in lonely towers imagine they can bring down the United States with their furious hatred and delusional arrogance. Once again they believe that no nation can stand behind values like freedom and democracy when fire and steel are flying.

Little do they understand the mighty American people and the principles that guide them, which are consistently expressed throughout American history. Let’s remember them now:

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Another Original LR Translation: Nemtsov on Georgia

A mistake we will all have to pay for

by Boris Nemtsov*

Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel

Today’s recognition by Medvedev of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is a strategic and long-term mistake, the consequences of which will be felt by practically all of Russia’s citizens.

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Goble on Stalin’s Poison Pills

Paul Goble, writing in the Moscow Times:

A lot of attention was focused on the symbolic importance when Russian forces occupied Gori, the birthplace of Stalin. Few reflected, however, that this conflict, like many others in the post-Soviet states, is the product of what many in business call “poison pills,” arrangements that make it difficult, if not dangerous, for anyone to try to takeover or even change the basic arrangements of another firm.

If the peoples of the region and the international community are to overcome this crisis and the others that are clearly on the horizon in this part of the world, they need to understand the nature and location of the poison pills Stalin inserted in his system and the dangers of swallowing them.

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Neo-Sovietism in Post-Putin Russia

Paul Goble has published an extremely important analysis showing how Boris Yeltsin “laid the foundations for Putinism” and how Vladimir Putin is laying the foundations for something “even worse” — dare we call it “Neo-Sovietism”?  Such a policy, of course, portends Russia’s utter implosion, just as occurred in the USSR. Goble warns that many in Russia itself understand the risk that places like Chechnya will now use this precedent to demand enforced separation from Russia, and even relations with places like Serbia have now been damaged.

Boris Yeltsin’s support for the rise of the oligarchs and the latter’s decision to turn to the siloviki in order to protect themselves from any challenge from the people laid the foundations for Vladimir Putin to construct his increasingly authoritarian regime, according to the leader of the liberal Yabloko party. But as depressing as that trend has been, several recen tarticles in the Russian press called attention to the appearance of a new history textbook for Russian school children which argues that Stalin’s terror was justified as “an instrument of development,” a message which suggests Putin has plans for an even more draconian system than the one he oversees now.

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Russia’s Military Embarasses itself in Georgia

The Times of London reports on the shoddy, embarrassing quality of the army Russia sent into Georgia, one which NATO could easily have brushed aside at will if it had chosen to do so — yet another serious error made by the Putin regime in connection with the Georgia conflict.

Pictures of triumphant Russian soldiers sitting on armoured personnel carriers as they were driven through towns in Georgia will be among the lasting images of the seven-day war. But the victory did not tell the whole story, analysts said yesterday.

The ageing vehicles were so lightly armed and so uncomfortable and hot to sit in that the Russian soldiers felt safer perched on top. “At least they could then react quickly if there was an attack,” Colonel Christopher Langton, an expert on Russian armed forces at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, said.

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Flirting with Stalin

Mass murder is so sexy!

Mass murder is so sexy!

Writing in Prospect magazine Arkady Ostrovsky, Moscow bureau chief of the Economist magazine,  tells us about “flirting with Stalin” and the horror of life in neo-Soviet Russia:

“Dear friends! The textbook you are holding in your hands is dedicated to the history of our Motherland… from the end of the Great Patriotic War to our days. We will trace the journey of the Soviet Union from its greatest historical triumph to its tragic disintegration.”

This greeting is addressed to hundreds of thousands of Russian schoolchildren who will in September receive a new history textbook printed by the publishing house Enlightenment and approved by the ministry of education. “The Soviet Union,” the new textbook explains, “was not a democracy, but it was an example for millions of people around the world of the best and fairest society.” Furthermore, over the past 70 years, the USSR, “a gigantic superpower which managed a social revolution and won the most cruel of wars,” effectively put pressure on western countries to give due regard to human rights. In the early part of the 21st century, continues the textbook, the west has been hostile to Russia and pursued a policy of double standards.

Had it not been for Vladimir Putin’s involvement, this book would probably have never seen the light of day. In 2007, Putin, then Russian president, gathered a group of history teachers to talk about his vision of the past. “We can’t allow anyone to impose a sense of guilt on us,” was his message.

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Moscow Times Readers Condemn Vladimir Putin

Letters to the editor of the Moscow Times regarding the Georgia crisis.  Note how bold it is for the MT to publish a letter accusing Russian dictator Vladmir Putin of being a criminal. The Kremlin has shown itself more than capable of launching a criminal prosecution against those who publish such statements.  Perhaps one day the MT will be even bolder and publish an op-ed or, dare we dream, an actual editorial that makes the same charge.

(1) Isn’t Vladimir Putin a Criminal?


In August 1999, after being provoked by a raid on Dagestan by Chechen rebels, Russia started an air campaign against Chechnya, followed by a massive ground attack in the following months. As a result of that, the Chechen capital, Grozny, was completely destroyed, tens of thousands of Chechens died, and even more Chechens had to flee their country. Chechnya at the time was a separatist region. It was de facto independent and out of the Russian sphere of control. Legally, however, it remained an integral part of the sovereign Russian state.

Now turn the clock forward nine years. In August 2008, after being provoked by South Ossetian militias and by Russian peacekeepers, Georgia attacked South Ossetia with ground forces and Grad missiles. As a result of this, the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, was destroyed, an unknown number of South Ossetians were killed and tens of thousands of South Ossetians had to flee their homes. South Ossetia at the time was a separatist region — de facto independent and out of the Georgian sphere of control. Legally, however, it remained an integral part of the sovereign Georgian state.

If Russia considers Georgia’s actions illegal and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili a criminal, what about the Russian actions in Chechnya? Wouldn’t then-President Vladimir Putin be a criminal as well?
If Russia affirms the right of independence for South Ossetia, why doesn’t the same apply for Chechnya?

Paul Cordy
Antwerp, Belgium

(2) Why aren’t Ossetians in Russia already?


I’m a little puzzled about something. Five years ago, 90 percent of South Ossetians and Abkhaz freely accepted Russian citizenship. By doing this, under Georgian law, they automatically lost their Georgian citizenship, which they probably were more than happy to be rid of. If I were to take the citizenship of a foreign country and give up my British citizenship, it would be only fair that I should be subject to immigration control in Britain and should have the right of residence only in the country of my new citizenship. Until this August, Russia reaffirmed, time and time again, that South Ossetia was part of Georgia, including in Security Council Resolution 1808. Why then did Russia not use the past five years to relocate its newly naturalized Russian citizens to its own territory?

Michael Petek
Brighton, Britain

Exposing Russian Failure at the Olympics

Writing in the Moscow Times columnist Georgy Bovt makes the point we made a week ago, namely that Russia failed miserably, by its own standards, at the Beijing Olympiad (it didn’t even play soccer, its men’s basketball collapsed in humiliating fashion, it was whipped head-to-head by the USA in men’s volleyball and women’s basketball, and it failed to produce a single memorable athletic performance).  And then he explains why this happened, seeing a connection between the fact that Russia is a sick nation (its male population doesn’t reach age 60 on average) and its lame atheletic performance.  A certain insane commenter who shall be nameless (because he is brainless) previously claimed nobody but LR could claim Russia had failed in Beijing, so although our mission is in fact to be far ahead of the curve on Russia, we admit to a special relish in publishing this post.  We’d say nice try, dummy, but it wasn’t even close. Those who rationalize failure in Russia are its worst enemies. Those who call up on it to rise and meet challenges are its best friends.

With the Olympic Games over, we can now take a look at whether Russia achieved the status of athletic superpower.  Unfortunately, our athletes did not fulfill the medals quota set by the president of the Russian Olympic Committee, Leonid Tyagachyov. Russia’s track and field athletes were the only ones to meet the quota, largely because a modern stadium was built in Irkutsk for them to train in before the games so they could adapt to the Beijing time zone.

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Special Extra — Valiant Georgia Severs Diplomatic Relations with neo-Soviet Russia

In another stunningly bad development for Vladimir Putin, Georgia has become the first nation to break diplomatic relations with neo-Soviet Russia. Georgia’s parliament has voted unanimously to repudiate Russia, and the last Georgian diplomat will leave Moscow this weekend. Russia, in turn, will be forced to close its embassy in Tbilisi.

The U.S. government responded as follows:

[We] don’t find any of this surprising, given the actions of the past three weeks. South Ossetia and Abkhazia are a part of Georgia under UN-recognized laws, in fact, laws and Security Council resolutions that Russia itself has supported. Georgia’s territorial integrity should be intact. We continue to be dismayed that Russia has not fulfilled all of its requirements in the peace agreement. Georgia is going to need the support of the world. And you’ve seen across the board countries coming forward to announce their support for Georgia and condemning the actions of Russia. And the results of that are that Russia is increasingly isolated and will bear the consequences of that isolation unless they fulfill that agreement and then make amends.

The U.S. says that under the France-brokered ceasefire agreement, August 6th is the status quo ante, and this precludes any military basis on the territory of Ossetia and Abkhazia.

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Special Extra — EDITORIAL: Vladimir Putin is Insane

No, you're not seeing things. That's really the then-"president" of Russia Vladmir Putin lifting a little boy's shirt in broad daylight and kissing his stomach.  Note the reaction of the kid at the left.  Just one of many head-scratching moments from Tsar Putin, and nothing compared to Georgia.

No, you are not seeing things. That is really the then president of Russia Vladimir Putin lifting the shirt of a little boy in public, in broad daylight, and kissing his stomach. Note the reaction of the kid at the left. Just one of many head-scratching moments from Tsar Putin, and nothing compared to Georgia.


Vladimir Putin is Insane

In his defense, defeat this wide and deep, humiliation this brutal and complete, might drive anyone berserk.

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August 31, 2008 — Contents


(1)  Ethan Burger on the Georgia Crisis

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Dmitri Medvedev, Shameless Liar

(3)  Another Original LR Translation: Milov on Georgia

(4)  Setting the Record Straight: Ossetia and Russia Started it!

(5)  Bipartisan Condemnation of Russia in the U.S. Senate

(6)  Engaging Russia has Utterly Failed

(7)  Russia Wants Confrontation

(8)  The NYT Scathingly Condemns Russia

(9) Shanghai Group Repudiates Russia on Georgia

NOTE:  Continuing our tradition of offering a wealth of original, exclusive content in addition to our essential news digest, La Russophobe today presents a trilogy of rich material analyzing the Georgia crisis. First, we offer an interview with renown Russia scholar Ethan Burger, who provides in-depth legal analysis. Then, we offer a translation from the virtual pages of, with Nemstov sidekick Vladimir Milov giving insights from the Russian perspective. Finally, our editorial exposes the outrageous fraud being perpetrated by Russian “president” Dmitry Medvedev.  Today’s issue shows what we mean when we say:  “You don’t really understand Russia unless you read La Russophobe.” We welcome contributions by e-mail ( from any source and can publish anonymously upon request.

Ethan Burger on the Georgia Apocalypse

Professor Ethan Burger

Professor Ethan Burger

Original to La Russophobe, the noted Russia scholar Professor Ethan Burger of Georgetown University Law Center and American University offers the following analysis of the Georgia apocalypse.

Note that LR has previously published other work by Professor Burger, click the “Burger” link in the categories section of our sidebar to peruse it.  Professor Burger’s legal expertise makes him uniquely well positioned to explain the legality (or lack thereof) of what Russia is doing in Georgia and its worldwide consequences.

LA RUSSOPHOBE: Welcome Professor Burger, and thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk about Georgia with us.   It’s being reported that Russia is attempting to issue passports to Ukrainians in Crimea. Do you see a parallel, as some have suggested, between that action and Russia’s similar behavior in Ossetia? In your view, does this action violate international law? Does the U.S., for instance, have the right to issue passports in Chechnya?

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EDITORIAL: Dmitry Medvedev, Shameless Liar

Lies and the lying lRussian "presidents" who tell them

Lies and the lying Russian presidents who tell them


Dmitry Medvedev, Shameless Liar

Without even attempting to garner support for such a move among other nations, much less in the United Nations, Russia has unilaterally recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.  A united Europe has rallied to condemn the outrageous unilateralism, the valiant Chancellor of Germany speaking out loudest of all.  Across the Atlantic the reaction was just as grim — the Bush administration called Russia’s action “appalling” and said it “puts Russia of course in opposition to a number of Security Council resolutions to which it is party.”  The U.S. Secretary of State said that “the U.S. regards Abkhazia and South Ossetia as ‘part of the internationally recognized borders of Georgia’and will use its veto power in the Security Council to block any Russian attempt to change their status. This simply will be dead on arrival.'”

Meanwhile, Russia still refuses to recognize Kosovo even as it asks the world to recognize Ossetia! But the only international entity to recognize Russia’s decision was the Hamas terrorist movement. That’s a new low in neo-Soviet humilation. On top of that, even pro-Kremlin Russians admit that Putin’s war had obliterated the Commonwealth of Independent States, which Russia did not allow to play any role in the crisis but of which both Russia and Georgia are members.  Like Russia’s recognition effort, the CIS is now DOA, and with it goes Russia’s ability to influence the member countries.  And for the rotten cherry to top off this massive cake of disgrace and failure, even Russia own Shanghai group of nations has rejected its mandhandling of Georgia, as we report below. Compared to Vladmir Putin’s ham-handed mishandling of Georgia, George Bush’s actions in Iraq make the American president look like Winston Churchill.

And then there’s the hypocrisy!  Do you dare to imagine, dear reader, how Russia would have reacted if the United States had unilaterally recognized Chechnya as independent as soon as fighting broke out there, and then moved in with troops and American passports, as Russia has done in Ossetia?  One sees this type of mind-boggling hypocrisy only from Russians.

And the precedent! What will Russia now say when various aggrieved regions of its own begin to agitate for independence, and when NATO begins to support them?  It seems that no matter how you look at it, Putin has created a total nightmare for Russia both domestically and internationally. And for what? What has Russia gained? Nothing.

Ascending to new levels of heinous neo-Soviet dishonesty in a speech to the nation explaining the government’s position, Russian “president” Dmitry Medvedev lied shamelessy.

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Another Original LR Translation: Milov on the Georgia Crisis

Cracks in the Tandem’s Frame — 25 August 2008 

by Vladimir Milov*

Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel

The Russo-Georgian conflict has still further confused observers as to the state the Putin-Medvedev tandem is in. One should particularly note two main tendencies of the last fortnight. Premier Putin has, following his loud speeches about the politics of the conflict at its start in Vladikavkaz on 9 August, has completely ceased to appear in public or to comment on the situation. Instead, he recently chaired a meeting to discuss Russian development up to 2020 which looked at such matters as plans for education and science and the creation of competition. He has not become involved publicly in anything to do with the conflict. Putin’s only overt activity was to discuss the allocation of humanitarian aid and provision of funds for the restoration of South Ossetia’s war-damaged infrastructure.

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Setting the Record Straight: Ossetia and Russia Started it!

Ace journalist Michael Totten, reporting from Georgia, confirms what we reported some time ago and sets the record straight on just who started the armed conflict that led to the Russian invasion.  Hint:  It was not Georgia.

Virtually everyone believes Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili foolishly provoked a Russian invasion on August 7, 2008, when he sent troops into the breakaway district of South Ossetia. “The warfare began Aug. 7 when Georgia launched a barrage targeting South Ossetia,” the Associated Press reported over the weekend in typical fashion.

Virtually everyone is wrong. Georgia didn’t start it on August 7, nor on any other date. The South Ossetian militia started it on August 6 when its fighters fired on Georgian peacekeepers and Georgian villages with weapons banned by the agreement hammered out between the two sides in 1994. At the same time, the Russian military sent its invasion force bearing down on Georgia from the north side of the Caucasus Mountains on the Russian side of the border through the Roki tunnel and into Georgia. This happened before Saakashvili sent additional troops to South Ossetia and allegedly started the war.

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Bipartisan Condemnation of Russia in the U.S. Senate

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman condemn Russia’s “aggression in Georgia” as a “challenge to world order.”  More proof of how totally Russia’s unilateral action has alienated the entire planet (a reader notes that presidential candidate John McCain has cross-published the article on his campaign website).

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Georgia, the United States and its trans-Atlantic allies have rightly focused on two urgent and immediate tasks: getting Russian soldiers out, and humanitarian aid in.

But having just returned from Georgia, Ukraine and Poland, where we met with leaders of these countries, we believe it is imperative for the West to look beyond the day-to-day management of this crisis. The longer-term strategic consequences, some of which are already being felt far beyond the Caucasus, have to be addressed.

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Engaging Russia has Utterly Failed

Enough with the carrots already! Time for a very large stick.  Writing in the Asia Times Peter Morici, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Business and former Chief Economist at the US International Trade Commission, concludes that our attempts to engage Russia have failed utterly. They have been interpreted by the proud KGB spy that prowls the Kremlin as weakness, and motivated him to attack. Hence, Morici calls for a new policy of confronation, especially in the neglected area of trade:

Russia’s invasion of Georgia should compel the United States and Europe to alter their policies of economic engagement to promote democracy.

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Russia Wants Confrontation

The always brilliant Pavel Felgenhauer, writing for the Jamestown Foundation, says that Russia is spoiling for a neo-Soviet fight:

A well-orchestrated surge of nationalistic pride seems to be driving Russia into a major confrontation with the West over the invasion of Georgia. The Russian media is full of brutal abuse, aimed at opponents of the invasion. State-sponsored propaganda has implied that the West is not only supporting Georgia against Russia, but has sent mercenaries to the fight. It was reported that on August 10 in South Ossetia a “black U.S. citizen” was captured together with a group of Georgian special forces planning subversion. It was reported that a captured pilot of a Georgian Su-25 attack plane shot down over South Ossetia “could not speak Russian or Georgian” (Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye, August 15). These reports have not been substantiated. Continue reading

The New York Times Scathingly Condemns Russia

A brutal cold-war editorial in the New York Times condemns the barbarism that is neo-Soviet Russia (note the scathing characterization of Vladimir Putin as “the dark hand behind the Kremlin’s aggression” and of Russia itself as “a poorly developed, corrupt and fragile state” ):

This is where things stand nearly three weeks after Russia invaded Georgia and radically upended ties with the West: Russian troops still occupy key areas, including the port of Poti; Moscow has recognized the independence of Georgia’s two breakaway regions; Georgia’s president, Mikheil Saakashvili, is still talking tough even though his army is routed and his country shattered.

Awash in oil wealth and giddy after crushing tiny Georgia, Russia’s leaders are striking back at real and imagined humiliations. The West’s failure to fully marshal its leverage is painful to watch. But Russia also has a lot to lose. Moscow’s decision to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia will only harden battle lines and sow further regional instability.

Recognizing these enclaves could inspire a host of rebellions around and inside Russia: Transdniester from Moldova, Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan and the oil-rich province of Tatarstan from Russia. If Moscow has forgotten its horrifying war to suppress the Chechens, we have not.

We know some in the Kremlin don’t care if ties with the West are broken. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the dark hand behind Russia’s aggression, blustered this week that Russia would be better off if it didn’t join the World Trade Organization.

While many Russians are cheering him now, we doubt that they will be eager to return to the grim days of Soviet isolation. For all its oil wealth, Russia is still a poorly developed, corrupt and fragile state. It is not in its long-term economic and security interest to divorce from the international mainstream. When the Europeans meet next week, they should agree to put on hold a trade and security deal with Moscow so long as it continues to occupy Georgia and threaten its neighbors.

Special Extra — Russia, Firing Blanks

Things could not be going worse for Russia:  Not one nation of the world has stepped forward to join Russia in recognizing Ossetia and Abkhazia as separate from Georgia, while virtually the entire planet has vigorously condemned Russian aggression, Europe and the U.S. unifying against Russian imperialism.  And now, the Associated Press reports, in a starkly humiliating development, Russia has even been repudiated by China and the Central Asian states in its own back yard!

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August 29, 2008 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  Olga Ivanova — Liar, or Neo-Soviet Patsy?

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Russian History, Repeating Itself

(3)  EDITORIAL:  The Enemy Within

(4)  Foreign Investors Flee Putin’s Russia

(5)  Flashpoint: Crimea

(6)  The Mailbag

EDITORIAL: Olga Ivanova, Liar or Neo-Soviet Patsy?

Olga Ivanova, 2007 Muskie Scholarship Program, Duquesne University

Olga Ivanova, 2007 Muskie Scholarship Program, Duquesne University


Olga Ivanova, Liar or Neo-Soviet Patsy?

On August 15th, a Russian graduate student in journalism from Duquesne University named Olga Ivanova published an op-ed article in the Washington Post. In it, without attribution to any specific source, she repeated as fact the following Kremlin propaganda statement:

Within hours, Georgian troops destroyed Tskhinvali, a city of 100,000, and they killed more than 2,000 civilians. Almost all of the people who died that night were Russian citizens. They chose to become citizens of Russia years ago, when Georgia refused to recognize South Ossetia as a non-Georgian territory.

She then compared Georgia’s attack on its breakaway province of Ossetia to the actions of Nazi Germany that led to World War II, implying Georgia’s democratically elected leader was analogous to Adolf Hitler.  As far as we can tell, that’s Olga pictured above, showing her participation in the Muskie Scholarship Program of the U.S. Department of State; apparently, the U.S. government funded all or part of her education. Click here to listen to her being interviewed by NPR.

These factual claims by Ivanova were not only totally false, they were made based solely on statements issued by the Russian government, a highly interested party, without disclosing that fact to Post readers, and Ivanova has done nothing to set the record straight — all while purporting to lecture Americans about their journalism standards. 

Here’s the real story.

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EDITORIAL: Russian History, Repeating Itself


Russian History, Repeating Itself

At the end of the Quentin Tarrantino movie “Kill Bill” the heroine delivers a secret Kung Fu blow against her adversary while they battle, one which allows the nemesis to walk away apparently unscathed. But after taking a number of steps, he staggers and drops lifeless after his heart explodes.

Something very much like that happened to Russia after what it regards — quite insanely — as its greatest military triumph, namely World War II.  Russians can talk all they like about how they “defeated” Germany, but while Germany united over the course of the next few years Russia fell apart. The USSR disintegrated, and today Germans enjoy a standard of living immeasurably higher in every respect than what is faced by Russians.  Far from being the nation’s greatest victory World War II was actually Russia’s great defeat, in part because the nation did not even realize it had occurred.

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EDITORIAL: The Enemy Within


The Enemy Within

We’ve written before about the pro-dictatorship propaganda being churned out in the name of American conservatism by the Discovery Institute’s Russia Blog, which is run by one Yuri Mamchur, a Russian citizen, and which works closely with the Kremlin’s propaganda TV network Russia Today and its propaganda website Russia Profile. It’s not surprising to see an affinity between the intelligent-design-promoting Institute and the Putin’s Russia, of course, since as Christopher Hitchens says “the black-cowled phalanx of Russian Orthodox Christianity is back at the side of the new czar.” Putin wants to create a Holy Russian Empire, and it seems Discovery Institute wants to be a part of it. Probably, they’d enjoy a similar transformation of the United States.

Such a nexus is particularly troubling when Russia begins to expand outside its borders using military force in an effort to annex parts of independent, democratically governed secular states — as recently happened in Georgia. Therefore, we take this opportunity to review that institution’s coverage of the Georgia conflict and to remind unwary web readers of who they are and what they are about.

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