MONDAY SEPTEMBER 29 CONTENTS
(1) The Nemtsov White Paper, Part II: Gazprom (Section 3)
(2) Another Original LR Translation: “An Inhabited Island” via Essel
(3) EDITORIAL: Demoracy, Russian Style
(4) EDITORIAL: Economics, Russian Style
(5) Russia’s Gangland Defense Policy
NOTE: We have an abundance of riches in terms of original content today. Not one but two original translations from the brilliant pen of Dave Essel, including the final installment in his tranlsation of Part II of the Nemtsov White Paper, and two editorials following that. And it’s all capped off with yet another report in the MSM comaring Russia’ government to a pack of organized criminals.
NOTE: Ace reporter Michael Totten’s latest report from Georgia — called “The Scorching,” is full of photographs and details from his trip to Borjomi.
This is a the final installment in our serialization of the second part of the White Paper by Boris Nemtsov. Part II deals exclusively with the Gazprom fuel monopoly. Section 1 was published last Friday, Section 2 on Sunday. This is Section 3, all new material exclusive to La Russophobe which has never before appeared in English. The full version of Part II is available now as a downloadable PDF, click here to view it. We will shortly publish the entire white paper as single HTML page, which can be cut and pasted. Click “Nemtsov” in our header to read Part I.
Putin: The Bottom Line
Part II, Gazprom
by Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Frolov
Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel
In recent year Putin and Gazprom’s management have devoted a great deal of time and effort to a number of gas pipeline projects involving a lot of propaganda ballyhoo as well a serious foreign political gameplay. Many Russians have been led to believe that all these ‘Northern’, ‘Southern’, ‘Bluestream’ and other pipelines are the keystone of Russia’s national interests. Many therefore worry about the fate of these projects and accept that countries which are openly against the pipelines should be painted as enemies.
On closer examination, however, none of these ambitious projects for new export pipelines present anything like and open-and-shut case. In fact, these projects are no less machinations than the asset stripping of Gazprom.
An Inhabited Island
by Boris Vishnevsky
Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel
“I say ‘Well done’ that they gave Saakashvili one in the kisser”, stated my uncle in a satisfied way as he sat opposite me at the dinner table loaded with party fare for his son’s birthday. “That’s propaganda speaking,” responded his wife with a note of scepticism. But it was a minority voice: most of those present held to the view that while Putin and Medvedev are, to put it mildly, not a bed of roses, at least they did right this time. Attempts to explain that the picture of the events in the Caucasus presented to Russia’s television viewers was radically out of line with reality met with little success. For the record, the members of the gathering (your traditional democratic voters), had never voted for the Communists, for United Russia, for the LDPR [Zhirinovsky’s party], or United Russia. But still they had this most peculiar way of looking at things…
Democracy, Russian Style
Lord only knows where the Western world’s understanding of Russia would be without the brilliant reporting of the Jamestown Foundation’s tireless Russia analyst Vladimir Socor. This knight in academic armor labors thanklessly on a daily basis to document the atrocities occurring in neo-Soviet Russia, and we cannot praise him highly enough. History will record his proper place among Russia journalists.
One of his most recent reports dealt with Russia’s truly obscene behavior before the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (“PACE”), where “a motion is pending to ‘reconsider the Russian delegation’s credentials, on grounds of serious violations of the basic principles of the Council of Europe.'” In other words, they are thinking of booting Russia out, or sanctioning it in some other manner for its barbaric aggression against tiny Georgia.
Russia’s response? It’s “diplomats” say that if PACE dares to vote any negative measure against Russia regarding Georgia, it will simply withdraw from the organization and take its $30 million per year annual funding with it. It’s also threatening to launch retaliatory attack on Georgia’s credentials and drag the whole council into a bureaucratic standstill.
Economics, Russian Style
You have to hand it to the Russians. No matter how bad things might be today, they can always suprise you — and make tomorrow so much worse you can’t believe you thought yesterday was bad.
The always brilliant Pavel Felgenhauer, writing for the Jamestown Foundation’s Eurasia Daily Monitor, exposes the fundmental fraud that underlies Russia’s foreign military adventurism:
This week the Russian armed forces began month-long strategic military exercises called Stability 2008. According to the Defense Ministry, the scenario suggests “a worsening of the situation and an escalation of crisis situations into military confrontation” (www.mil.ru, September 20). The composition of the forces and ministries that will be involved in the exercise does not leave any doubt—it’s a scenario of a nuclear war in which Russia and its ally Belarus will face the United States. and NATO. The Russian military, intelligence and special services, and other executive government agencies and ministries, including local governments, together with their Belarusian counterparts must jointly “liquidate military conflicts, insuring strategic stability.”