MONDAY OCTOBER 20 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Neo-Communist Russia
(2) EDITORIAL: Georgia, Dominating Russia
(3) Exposing Medvedev’s Anti-Corruption Scam
(4) Exposing the Fraud of the Russian Stock Markets
(5) Inflation out of Control in Putin’s Russia
(6) Kiselyov on the Russian Swamp
(7) The British Council Whips Putin
NOTE: We feel we should apologize to the Russophilic minions of Vladimir Putin this morning. The material we publish in today’s issue is just that devastating. First, we document Putin’s humiliating failure in foreign policy at the hands of Britain and, most especially, Georgia. Then we show over and over how the Putin economy is coming apart — rapidly and spectacularly — at the seams. Finally, we offer the words of a Russian pundit showing that, compared to Ukraine, Russia is a barbaric wasteland still lost in the darkness of the past. No intelligent person can read today’s issue and conclude Russians have any course of action open to them other than immediate regime change, as we point out in our editorials. Putin is bad for the world, and bad for the people of Russia, as we’ve been saying from day one here at this blog.
Back in the USSR
Neo-Soviet Russia is rapidly taking on all the critical aspects of communism under the rule of Vladimir Putin, just as we’ve always said would happen as soon as the national economy began to founder on the shoals of reality. All those Russophile pieces of filth who claimed Russia could “never go back” to communism have been proved to be the ridiculous liars they are, just as they were lying when they said Russia could never again embrace authoritarian dictatorship.
Of course, if you look at it one way, the Russophile maggots were right: It could easily be argued that Russia “never went back” to communism because it never left in the first place. The proud KGB spy who rules the country knows only one way to live, so he is reconstructing it at breakneck speed, and the country has never been ruled by someone who wasn’t part of the Soviet apparatus. So really what we are seeing now is just the illusion of democracy and capitalism being stripped away before our eyes.
Georgia, Dominating Russia
Last week Georgia scored a series of three dominating victories over Russia, clearing showing how badly Georgia’s president has outfoxed and outfought the malignant little troll who prowls the parapets of the Kremlin. We congratulate Mr. Saaskashvili on his brilliant and historic victories, which show the world the true extent of the Kremlin’s weakness and stupity — characteristics which the people of Russia seem to admire greatly, if public opinion polls in which they barbarically support Russia’s aggression are to be believed.
Writing in the Moscow Times Georgy Saratov, president of Indem, a Moscow-based think tank, exposes that fraud that is “president” Dima Medvedev’s “anti-corruption” campaign:
At the first meeting of the Anti-Corruption Council on Sept. 30, President Dmitry Medvedev unveiled what he believes to be the key weapons in the battle against corruption. His “National Plan Against Corruption,” which consists of a main anti-corruption bill and amendments to 25 laws, has been submitted to the State Duma for review and approval.
Reader “Dobo” points out the following piece (called “Kremlinomics”) from the Economist which explains in detail why Russia’s stock market has led the world in failure over the past half-year, instead of being the “safe haven” and bellweather of a resurgent economy that Vladimir Putin promised:
President Dmitry Medvedev dreams of turning Moscow into a global financial centre, but he has an awful long way to go. For Russia’s markets have slumped. Even after recent one-day rallies, the dollar-denominated RTS index and the rouble-denominated MICEX index have shed around two-thirds of their value since mid-May (see chart). These falls are bigger than in any other emerging markets, dealing a blow to Kremlin claims that Russia is a safe haven from global financial turmoil.
Harsh statist rhetoric, the shareholder dispute at the TNK-BP joint venture and the war with Georgia all hurt investor sentiment earlier this year. But the financial crisis has done the most damage. The first big companies to admit being in trouble were in construction, retailing and property. As credit markets all but closed, the cheap loans on which they relied dried up. Companies started to change hands for prices that would have seemed derisory just months earlier. Struggling retail and investment banks, including one that was emblematic of Russia’s boom—Renaissance Capital—have been partly or wholly bought by rivals. This week Globex, a small retail bank, experienced a run on deposits. Even Russia’s oligarchs feel the pain. Oleg Deripaska, the aluminium king who is the richest of all, has had to unload a big stake in a Canadian car-parts firm after failing to meet a margin call.
Jonas Bernstein of the Jamestown Foundation’s Eurasia Daily Monitor reports that, as usual in the Russia of Vladimir Putin, the pathetic Russian people are getting the worst of all possible worlds:
Russia’s stock markets have recently been hammered along with those elsewhere in the world, and perhaps even more so, with Russian markets having lost two-thirds of their value (or about $1 trillion) since June. It is, however, rising prices, not falling share prices or teetering banks, that remain the first concern of the average Russian. In a poll taken earlier this month, 57 percent of the respondents named inflation as their main concern (see EDM, October 14).
Indeed, while the world, including Russia, is in the grip of a credit crisis with a recession possibly looming on the horizon, this has had little effect thus far on rising consumer prices in Russia. Russia’s Economic Development Ministry predicts that the inflation rate for the first 10 months of 2008 may hit 11.7 percent, just a 10th of a percentage point off the ministry’s projected figure of 11.8 percent. According to Vremya novostei, independent experts are predicting that inflation may even exceed the official prognosis owing to the government’s steps to add liquidity to Russia’s economy by injecting government funds into the country’s financial markets. Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has already predicted that these measures could add a percentage point or two to the overall inflation rate for 2008.
Uber-pundit Yevgeny Kiselyov, writing in the Moscow Times:
Kiev is caught up in a turbulent political crisis. Against this backdrop, it is interesting to take a look at Russia, where the political scene is like the Dead Sea — thick, swampy and lifeless. You can’t swim in it. The most you can do is drift along or float on your back. Any attempt at more active movement in this sea could have fatal consequences.
By contrast, Kiev’s political life is extremely vital. President Viktor Yushchenko, who issued a decree to dissolve parliament for its failure to form a coalition within the legally allotted time frame, has called for early elections. In response, deputies loyal to Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the president’s main opponent, appealed to the administrative court, which in turn suspended Yushchenko’s decree.
Reuters reports that even Russia courts can see the naked politically-motivated fraud inherent in the Kremlin’s attack on the peaceful British Council. Putin’s incompetence and weakness is once again exposed, and Russia is once again humiliated before the eyes of the world as a much smaller nation forces him to back down.
A Russian court Friday threw out most of the tax claims filed by authorities against the British government’s cultural arm during a diplomatic row between the two countries. As relations between London and Moscow deteriorated over the past two years, the Russian government forced the closure of some of the British Council’s regional offices, saying they were not legal, and tax inspectors filed claims against it. But high-level ministerial contact between the two countries has now resumed and Britain sent a new ambassador to Moscow this month. “The court recognized as invalid a decision from a tax inspection in the part where it filed income tax and value added tax claims,” said the spokeswoman for the Moscow Arbitration Court. The tax claims had been issued in January, she said.