Daily Archives: October 30, 2008

November 2, 2008 — Contents

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 2 CONTENTS

(1)  EDITORIAL:  Lies and Deceipt at Russia Blog

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Russians, Gobbling Slop

(3)  Who’s more dangerous to Russians:  Criminals, or Cops?

(4)  Russian Arrogance gets its Just Desserts

(5)  Annals of Russian Sports Humiliation

NOTE:  Won’t you help free persecuted mother of two Svetlana Bakhmina by signing the petition calling for her early release from prison?

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EDITORIAL: Lies and Deceit at Russia Blog

EDITORIAL

Lies and Deceit at Russia Blog

Russia's stock market performance over the past three years

Russian stock market performance over the past three years (RTS dollar index)

On September 19th of this year that venal and mendacious reptile Yuri Mamchur, publisher of the pro-Kremlin propaganda exercise known as Russia Blog and funded by the corrupt Discovery Institute (put his name into the search engine in our sidebar, or Google him, to read our prior commentary about his activities if you are not already familiar), published a post touting a 20% gain on the RTS index of the Russian stock market, to nearly 1,300.  Calling the gains a “historic rebound,” Mamchur quoted Andrei Stoyanov of UK Rosbank stating:  “The situation looks very positive and suggests very fast growth of Russian stock.  The growth in the next several weeks might be in the range of 70-100%.”  He quoted Igor Duel of the Russian Bank of Development stating: “Market players expect the average index growth to go up by nearly a third in the next three months.”  Not a word was said by Mamchur about how the Kremlin had shut down the markets and then fueled them with piles of its own cash in order to create the illusion of “rebound.”

As you may already know, these predictions didn’t exactly pan out.  Would it surprise you to learn that Mamchur wasn’t all that inclined to tell his readers anything about it when they didn’t?

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EDITORIAL: Russians, Gobbling Slop

EDITORIAL

Russians Gobble American Slop

We remember well a cross-borders interview program hosted back during the days of Cold War I by bosom pals Phil Donohue and Vladimir Posner.  Holding a microphone to the mouth of a young Soviet lad in a Russian TV studio, Posner gaped on as the youth proceeded to arrogantly decry all the elements of American popular culture as philistine and ignorant, unworthy of Russian attention and indicative of a failed civilization.  He was then struck dumb when Posner incoveniently noticed he was wearing a pair of blue jeans.

Chicken of the Russian sea?

Chicken of the Russian sea?

Russian hypocrisy is so vast and relentless in its permutations that it sometimes manages to surprise even those of us who put out this blog and are steeped in it on a daily basis. So we confess that even we were taken aback somewhat when we learned that in the last week of October 2008 the #1 movie at the Russian box office was something called Major Movie Star, featuring airhead blonde Jessica Simpson.  The film — so atrocious that its own cast members have referred to it as one of the worst movies ever made — was banned from distribution in the U.S. because of its embarrassing awfulness, but Russian cats are lapping it up like cream.

Next stop for the movie, Bulgaria — once it’s proved itself good enough for the Bulgarians by testing in the land of Putin.

Meanwhile, Parisians got an eyeful of the “high culture” being generated by Russians as an antidote to American pollution. Russian artist Oleg Kulik is representing his nation in the salons of the City of Light with a display of photographs that “show Kulik naked, appearing to simulate sex with animals.”  The French attitude towards art appears to differ somewhat markedly from Russian tastes. They’ve decided he’s a bestial pornographer and confiscated the work.

Click the jump to view a gallery of art Russian style. If, that is, you have the stomach for it.  You have been warned.

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Who is more dangerous to Russians: Criminals or Cops?

The Moscow Times reports:

Of all the horrifying revelations during the trial of serial killer Alexander Pichushkin, perhaps none was more disturbing than the ordeal of Maria Viricheva, one of three people known to have survived attacks by Pichushkin. It emerged in court that a Moscow police officer had forced Viricheva to sign a statement following the 2002 attack saying she had not been assaulted, even though her boyfriend was an acquaintance of Pichushkin’s and could have led police straight to the killer. Pichushkin, known as the Bittsevsky Maniac, went on to kill dozens before his arrest in 2006 and was sentenced to life in prison a year ago Wednesday for 48 murders.

City Prosecutor Yury Syomin subsequently opened a criminal case against the police officer, Konstantin Kalashnikov, for abuse of his position.Kalashnikov remains at large, and his wife said he had moved to Ukraine.  “The things they said on television weren’t true,” Alya Kalashnikova said in a recent telephone interview. “Of course he registered the crime properly. What, you think a person who worked as a policeman for 30 years would do something so stupid?”

The Investigative Committee said in a faxed statement Tuesday that the case against Kalashnikov, who worked at the Zyuzino district precinct in southwestern Moscow, had been suspended because his whereabouts were unknown. It is unclear why, as prosecutors allege, Kalashnikov chose to ignore Viricheva’s story. But the accusations against him highlight a pervasive police practice in which officers pad their case log with easily solved crimes while refusing to register cases of mugging and assault, which are more difficult to crack.

The practice, known in police jargon as “chopping sticks,” is aimed at improving the percentage of registered crimes solved by an officer in order to earn a bonus or promotion.

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Russian Arrogance gets its Just Desserts: Turns out they Still have Lots to Learn

Andrei Kortunov, president of the New Eurasia Foundation in Moscow, writing in the Moscow Times:

Look around at your Russian colleagues, business partners, clients, bosses and employees. Remember how self-assured and optimistic they were just this summer. Remember their grandiose business plans and strategies. It was as if Russia had forever lost the need for the thousands of expat managers, analysts and consultants who were working in the country. It seemed that Russia’s business elite had mastered Western management and finance skills so well that they would begin giving their U.S. and European counterparts a run for their money not only in Russia, but throughout the world.

Where did all of that enthusiasm go? Today, the Russian business community is a state of near panic. Judging from interviews with many Russian business leaders, they are expecting the end of the world — mass bankruptcies and layoffs, sharp declines in salaries and benefits, the devaluation of the ruble and stagnation of the real economy. The transition from extreme optimism to extreme pessimism hit the country like a brick.

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Annals of Russian Sports Humiliation

The week of October 20th, Russia hosted a million-dollar ATP tennis tour event in St. Petersburg.

Showing how attractive Russia is as a venue, not one of the top three players in the world attended the event, and only two of the top 10 did so. 

This left Russia with four of the eight seeds in the tournament, including its highest-ranked player Nikolay Davydenko as well as Mikhail Youzhny, Marat Safin and Dimitry Tursunov. Not one of them made it to the third round of the tournament.

Tursunov, world #26, was crushed in straight sets by an unseeded Slovakian in his first-round match. The Russian won only two of 14 games played. The other three (higher-ranked) Russians won their opening-round matches against their unseeded opponents, then were blown off the court in their second matches in easy straight sets.  Davydenko didn’t even step on the court and handed his match over by forfeit.   Safin won six games and Youzhny took nine in humiliating losses against their unseeded opponents.

Ouch.  Only one top-ten non-Russian appeared in Putinland, and that player easily won the event over a non-Russian opponent.

As if things weren’t already bad enough for Russian sportsmen, Indian Vishy Anand raced out to a 6-3 dominating lead in the world chess championship, being contested in Bonn, Germany, over Russian star Vladimir Kramnik.  With only four games remaining, that meant Kramnik had to win them all in order to take the title.  Think he was able to do so?

Nope.

And for the icing on this putrid cake, out came the New York Times with a story exposing the Potemkin fraud that is Russian professional ice hockey.

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