FRIDAY OCTOBER 31 CONTENTS
(1) Another Original LR Translation: Novodvorskaya on the Crisis
(2) Essel on Russia vs. Zimbabwe
(3) EDITORIAL: George Bush, Asleep at the Switch
(4) EDITORIAL: Putin the Pickpocket
(5) EDITORIAL: Spectacular Fraud on the Russian Stock Market
(6) Another Original LR Translation: Latynina on Khodorkovsky
NOTE: It’s all Dave Essel, all the time today. Dave offers readers two separate orginal translations from the Russian press, material from inside Russia that you will find noplace else in the English-speaking world, as well as an essay of his own reacting to still more material he has unearthed in his travels through Russia’s cyberspace. We know we speak for all our readers when we give Dave a bolshoi shout-out of thanks for his yeoman work in opening these windows into Russia. With three of our editorials, this makes for a day of 100% all-original content from La Russophobe, a rare occurrence! You lucky reader, you.
An Island of Instability
by Valeriya Novodvorskaya**
Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel
The experts have already expounded on the financial crisis. And although our crisis is linked at one of the chain to the crisis in the West, it has its very own, Soviet, source. That source is rather closer to 1991 (when minister of defence Yazov decided to give the people a treat, opened up the Motherland’s strategic reserves and found that they contained nothing but mice and the equivalent of one dried up MRE each to distribute), than to the Great Depression, which was a crisis of overproduction as a result of which it was e.g. necessary to pour petrol on mountains of oranges and burn them rather than allow them to be sold at dumping prices.
The current crisis in the West is a also a crisis of overproduction. Ours is one of scarcity, a crisis of shortages and arrears.
Russia Still Second, Zimbabwe Still Leads…
by David Essel
Russia is still a runner-up to Zimbabwe in the economic mismanagement stakes but the two countries are competing in the same league of Commie Mentality States.
George Bush, Asleep at the Switch
Two recent developments highlight the disturbing lack of leadership from the U.S. White House that is allowing the neo-Soviet Kremlin to achieve far more of its malignant goals than should be the case. President Bush is a asleep at the switch, and the sooner he vacates the Oval Office, the better.
First, writing for the Jamestown Foundation’s Eurasia Daily Monitor, Vladimir Socor reveals how Gazprom is being permitted to attack the sponsors of the Nabucco pipeline project, which is supposed to allow fossil fuels to flow out of Central Asia without depending on Russia, thus dramatically reducing Russia’s ability to blackmail Europe with threats to its energy supplies. The current target of attack is Romania, and the Bush administration is doing nothing to prevent it.
Then Farkhad Sharip, also writing for EDM (thus proving what an essential resource that publication really is), shows how Russia itself is moving aggressively into the Central Asian region as the result of the “intertia” caused by the Bush administration’s lack of leadership.
Putin the Pickpocket
An item in Monday’s issue of the Moscow Times showed how Vladimir Putin’s polices are quite literally picking the nation’s pocket — more evidence of the same is provided in an item today by columnist Dave Essel.
The MT story stated ominously: “Signs are mounting that a worsening of the financial crisis could dampen businesses’ willingness to accept credit and debit cards.”
It’s a truly breathtaking statement. Six months ago, with the Russian stock market at a historic high, who would have believed the nation could fall so far, so fast? We would have, and we did. We sounded the warning, but the people of Russia chose not to listen. Maybe they will hear the sound of silence made by their national cash machines?
Spectacular Fraud in the Russian Securities Markets
Well, let’s see now.
Last Friday, there was a horrifying bloodbath in in the Russian stock market, leading the market to be shut down not only for the remainder of the day but for the entire day on Monday.
And on Monday, the price of crude oil fell below $62 on world markets, stunningly far below the $75 baseline needed to preserve the Kremin’s budget. World stock markets plunged further.
And when the Russian stock market closed on Tuesday following its reopening that morning, six of the seven indices on the RTS index were in the red, half of them posting losses in excess of 3%.
Yet the RTS index itself was in the black, closing up nearly 5%. How is that possible, you may ask?
Fraud, dear reader, that is how.
What a biography they invented for him!
On the fifth anniversary of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s arrest
by Yuliya Latynina
Novaya Gazeta 27.10.08
Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel
Do you remember what you were doing on the day they arrested Khodorkovsky? I certainly do. I was sitting and writing a piece about the Tuzla Peninsula when I got a phone call and the poor peninsula immediately and irrevocably ceased to exist.
It’s not that often that we remember precisely what we were doing on some particular day five years ago. In my case I remember it because I went to sleep in one country and woke up in another.
This has happened to us several times since then. We woke up in a different country after the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. After Litvinenko’s poisoning. After Beslan and the abolition of the election of governors. After the Russo-Georgian War. But the first time this happened to us was when Khodorkovsky was arrested.