FRIDAY NOVEMBER 28 CONTENTS
(1) Another Original LR Translation: Latynina on Golodomor
(2) EDITORIAL: Putin’s Russia, Ravaged by AIDS
(3) Exploding Unemployment in Putin’s Russia
(4) A Day of Reckoning for Putin’s Mini-me
(5) The Mailbag: The Chief Culprit in World War II
(6) Goble on Putin as Brezhnev
NOTE: We have a poll running. What are your thoughts? Will Barack Obama be tough enough on Putin’s neo-Soviet state? Cast your vote now.
NOTE: La Russophobe wishes to offer all her American readers her heartfelt wishes for a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday. Americans, and indeed all those fortunate enough not to live under the jackboot of a KGB thug, should count their blessings for the benefits of freedom they often take for granted.
The “So-Called” Golodomor
24 November 2008
Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev did not attend the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Golodomor. Instead, he sent a letter in which he waxed wrathful about the wedge being driven between two brotherly peoples by ill-wishers who speak of a “so-called” Golodomor.
“The tragic events of the early 1930s are being used to further transient and fleeting political aims,” the President wrote. He added: “Without waiting for the results of a wide-ranging study of the problems by competent experts, we are having a simplistic depiction of the past imposed on us. The people who are promoting the thesis of a “genocidal man-made famine” do not care in the least about scientific accuracy. Their aim is to drive a wedge between our fraternal peoples.”
Last Friday, I was on Savik Shuster’s “Shuster Live” program which was dedicated to the Golodomor. The guests on the programme divided into two parties. One group consisted of Russophile politicians. The view they expounded was that firstly, there wasn’t any Golodomor, secondly, the Americans were to blame, and thirdly, that everyone suffered from it.
The Moscow Times reports that unemployment is spiraling out of control in Russia. Employers are planning to slash 200,000 jobs in the next two months alone. Read it and weep, Mr. Putin:
The country’s unemployment rate rose to a seven-month high, and retail sales grew at their weakest annual pace in more than two years in October, with analysts saying that Friday’s data was a harbinger of much worse to come. Russian companies have started cutting production, jobs and salaries as the global slowdown crimps demand, falling energy and commodity prices eat into profits in the economy’s dominant sectors and the credit crunch makes it virtually impossible to attract funding from abroad.
“October is the first month when we see the hit of the crisis. … It is the very tip of the iceberg,” said Elina Rybakova, chief Russia economist at Citibank. “It will get much worse from here.”
A Day of Reckoning for Putin’s Mini-Me
This country’s murder rate is soaring out of control, among the worst on the planet. It has a crude, thuggish dictator who hates America and is trying to crush every aspect of civil society, whose power depends solely upon the international price of crude oil, now in freefall. The national economy is imploding, with inflation out of control and industrual production contracting.
No, it’s not Vladimir Putin’s Russia we’re discussing, though that benighted quagmire satisfies every one of those criteria in spades. It’s the Venezuela of his “mini me” Hugo Chavez, a poor Russian’s Fidel Castro, surrogate of Putin’s cold war in South America, that we refer to.
And he’s in big trouble.
Letters, we get letters, we get lots of cards and letters ever day!
Dear La Russophobe,
Hot off the presses: The Chief Culprit, by Viktor Suvorov ($25 hardcover, available at Amazon and elsewhere). It’s a synthesis of several of his previous books in Russian, including The Icebreaker, M-Day, The Cleansing, The Suicide, and The Last Republic (only the first of which was ever translated into English). The author, whose real name is Vladimir Rezun, is a GRU (Soviet military intelligence) agent who defected to Britain in 1978. (One of the blurbs is by Vladimir Bukovsky, in case that name means anything to anybody.)
His goal is to disprove the conventional wisdom about the origins of WW2.
Putin is the new Brezhnev
Writing on Georgian Daily, scholar Paul Goble notes that Russian analysts are finding many parallels between Putin’s Russia and Brezhnev’s USSR:
Russia increasingly resembles Brezhnev’s USSR with its “imitation of power, imitation of obedience, imitation of unanimity of belief and imitation of trust,” according to a leading Russian commentator, an implicit warning that those who are comfortable with that should remember what happened after the Soviet leader passed away.
In an article in the current issue of Moscow’s “New Times,” Valery Panyushkin says that the gap between image and reality became glaring at the time of the Georgian war, with Russian forces on the ground not doing what the Russian president said he had ordered them to do. In the hearing of all, he continues, Dmitry Medvedev said that “the war is over and the army is stopping and leaving Georgia.” But “the army did not stop and it did not leave.” Either the army was acting in an insubordinate way or at a minimum “sabotaging the public order of the supreme commander.” And this situation only became worse when, as the international financial crisis began to affect Russia sending the stock market, exchange rates, and employment down, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin went around the country denying the obvious, saying that there was no crisis and that anyone who said otherwise was sowing panic.