Monthly Archives: March 2009

April 3, 2009 — Contents


(1)  Another Original LR Translation:  Putin’s Dagestan Disaster

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Impossible Russia!

(3)  EDITORIAL:  Slavery in Putin’s Russia

(4)  EDITORIAL:  Russia goes into the Toilet

(5)  Russians show their Love for Country and Ruler

(6)  Putin’s Paranoia, Exposed

NOTE:  We’re all a-Twitter.  La Russophobe has established a presence on the hot new Twitter website, where you can check in and read our mind as to our plans for forthcoming issues.  FYI, we also have a presence on Facebook.

Another Original LR Translation: Putin’s Dagestan Disaster

dagestanA Note from the Translator: After my verbal tussle of last week with a semi-literate, moronic Putlerite troll who suggested that a) I kill myself by bashing my head against a wall, b) that KGB rules so I’d better watch out, and c) that some ammonium up the nose might help me think, I was struck by the clarity of the evidence of the sheer barbarity and lack of humanity (and human intelligence) of so many in Russia. The reason why I translate things for LR is that I assume its readership is mainly Western and I worry that the West, and in particular its dreadful multiculturalist and politically correct politicians and public, appeasement artists and moral relativists to the bone, do not have the faintest idea about the reality of the monsters dwelling east of the Pripet Marshes. I see LR as a great corrective for these people, highlighting the truth that so many in the West would prefer not to have to acknowledge. Here then, for those who would cozy up to the bear, is an everyday story of…

Living and Dying in Dagestan

Alexandr Podrabinek, 31 March 2009

Yezhednevnaya Gazeta

Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel

Magomedshakir Magomedov lived an open book of a life, like many villagers in Dagestan. Thirty-five years old, he quarried a bit of stone and grazed sheep. He did what he could to earn a living. He believed in God and did not hide his beliefs. He was an open book, a family man with a wife and children.

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EDITORIAL: Impossible Russia!


Impossible Russia!

The IKEA Corporation’s slogan is:  “Impossible prices!”  That’s in the outside world.  Where Vladimir Putin’s benighted, barbaric country is concerned, the slogan is now:  “Impossible Russians!”

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EDITORIAL: Slavery in Putin’s Russia


Slavery in Putin’s Russia

Last Friday, a colonel in the Russian Ministry of Defense’s Main Intelligence Directorate, or GRU, an individual that the Kremlin refuses to name, was arrested in a sweep of 13 Russian white slavers and accused of having “trafficked more than 130 women from Russia and former Soviet republics to work as prostitutes from 1999 to 2007.”

RIA Novosti reported that “the crime syndicate sold women from Russia, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus into sex slavery in several European and Middle Eastern countries, including Israel, Italy, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and United Arab Emirates.”

If you had asked Vladimir “KGB can do no wrong” Putin about the possibility of such an event occurring on Thursday, he would have boldly declared it unthinkable.  That’s what he said when rumors started to circulate that the KGB had blown up two apartment buildings in Moscow, killing hundreds, in order to blame the Chechens and justify an invasion.  And now that it has occurred, he will do nothing to reign in the unbridled power of the secret police he has unleashed upon the nation — nor will the lemming-like citizens of his country demand that he do so.

Russia is traveling right back down the same well-trodden path that led the the obliteration and erasure of the USSR.

EDITORIAL: Russia goes into the Toilet


Russia goes into the Toilet

“It’s built on technologies dating back to the mid-1980s, at the very latest. We are lagging seven to 30 years back in various space technologies.”

— Russian astronaut Gennady Padalka, talking to the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta

That was the response of “Cosmonaut” Padalka describing the Russian-made alternative after being informed that he wouldn’t be able to use the flashy American toilet on the international space station, but would be relegated instead to the Russian one, and wouldn’t be able to use any exercise machine at all since, while the Americans have a cool one, the Russian section doesn’t have any at all.

At least Padalka has a toilet of some kind. Huge swaths of Russia’s population, to this day, rely on the outhouse.  They have their hot water cut off by the state in the summer, and sometimes go without running water of any kind.  These are just two of the many reasons that Russia doesn’t rank in the top 100 countries of the world for male adult lifespan, and why it loses up to 1 million people from its population every year.

One may well ask, then, where all the billions of oil revenue windfalls that Russia received over the past several years have gone.  There is only one answer, of course:  The Kremlin has flushed them down the toilet of a paranoid, aggressive, neo-Soviet new cold war with the United States.

Russians Show their “Patriotic Love” For Russia

Time magazine reports on how Russians are showing their profound respect for Vladimir Putin’s cold -war policies and their abiding love for Russia:

According to his paperwork, “Dmitri” spent several weeks in a psychiatric institution in the Arkhangelsk region in northern Russia and, soon after, he was finally diagnosed with a mild mental illness. He won’t say what the diagnosis actually is; the important thing for him is that the general finding is stamped across his identification papers. It prevents him from ever getting a job in the Russian government. But more importantly for Dmitri, that medical certification prevents him from being drafted into the army.

Dmitri (not his real name) paid $2,500 to be certified with his mental illness three years ago. He is just one of thousands of young Russians who have gotten out of military service (or are trying to) as the country comes up to the April 1 beginning of its biggest peacetime draft in history, one that hopes to enlist 305,000 new soldiers. (See pictures of Russia’s evocation of Soviet military glory.)

Russia considers itself a nation of patriots, but when it comes to defending the motherland, men over the age of 18 aren’t quite ready to lay it on the line.

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Putin’s Paranoia, Exposed

The Chicago Tribune’s ace Russia correspondent Alex Rodriguez reports on Vladimir Putin’s shameless, Stalin-like paranoia and tactics in dealing with dissent:

The spy was only 20, a soft-spoken college student with a pouty smile and a double life. She had 40 agents working for her and dossiers piling up on her home computer. She revved up recruits with talk of an enemy bent on government overthrow. Anna Bukovskaya’s band of young spies stalked about western Russia like Cold War operatives, infiltrating the enemy, jotting down names and numbers, and at times using hidden cameras to secretly film targets.The fruits of her network’s espionage were eventually relayed to the Russian government, Bukovskaya says. And the enemy? They were young Russians just like Bukovskaya, though young Russians belonging to youth groupscritical of the Kremlin and Russian authorities.

It all was very seamy, Bukovskaya says, and ultimately too much for her conscience to bear.

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April 1, 2009 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  Girding for War in the Arctic

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Exposing Putin’s Chechnya Fraud

(3)  Neo-Soviet Russia Continues to Weaponize Psychiatry

(4)  Under Putin, Neo-Soviet Russia Stands all Alone

(5)  Russia’s Impending Banking Collapse

(6)  Confirmed:  KGB Launched Cyber Attacks on Georgia

NOTE:  Nationalist wacko Dmitri Rogozin has a “crazy-as-I-wanna-be” column on the Guardian‘s blog “Comment is Free.”  Its readers, duly appalled, expose Rogozin for the maniac that he is.  Shows the power of commenting and, encouragingly, how little traction there is these days in the Western world for ludicrous propaganda from the Kremlin.  Still, shame on the Guardian for not giving readers a more accurate biographical statement on Rogozin.

EDITORIAL: Girding for War in the Arctic


Girding for War in the Arctic

It’s time the Obama administration realized that the KGB Kremlin of Vladimir Putin is taking the new cold war very literally indeed.

Last week the Associated Press reported that according to a Kremlin strategy paper signed by Dmitri Medvedev “Russia plans to create a new military force to protect its interests in the disputed Arctic region.” According to the AP:  “The Kremlin paper says the Arctic must become Russia’s “top strategic resource base” by the year 2020.”  The paper “calls for strengthening border guard forces in the region and updating their equipment, while creating a new group of military forces to ‘ensure military security under various military-political circumstances'” and states that by 2011 Russia will have “proved” its Arctic borders.

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EDITORIAL: Putin’s Chechnya Fraud


Putin’s Chechnya Fraud

Last week various news organizations reported on Russia’s announcement of a major force withdrawal from Chechnya.  The Kremlin was attempting to make it seem that it was pulling out troops because it could declare, like George Bush:  “Mission accomplished!”  As if to add another exclamation point, the Kremin assassinated yet another Chechen national on foreign soil (but would Russia accept Britain liquidating Russian citizens it felt were connected to the Litvinenko murder?).

Bush, however, didn’t pull troops out of Iraq after making that declaration, and the ever-watchful Paul Goble was not fooled by the Kremlin’s gambit, as were some of the clueless news organizations who reported the story.  And, encouragingly, Goble says that many Russians are also wise to the Kremlin’s ridiculous fraud.  In fact, the only reason Russia is pulling forces out of Chechnya is that it simply can’t afford to keep them there any longer.

Goble reports:

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Neo-Soviet Russia Continues to Weaponize Psychiatry

The Other Russia reports:

A Russian opposition activist, who says he was confined against his will to a mental hospital, [was ordered to] remain in the facility after a St. Petersburg court ruled in favor of his compulsory treatment on March 15th.  According to the online newspaper (Rus), Vadim Charushev is well known as the creator of several political web-resources and social networking groups.

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Putler’s Policies Leave Russia Friendless in Post-Soviet Space

Paul Goble reports:

Vladimir Putin because of his hatred for Ukraine, Estonia, and Georgia has managed to leave Russia without any allies in the former Soviet space, a remarkable performance and one that means Moscow now must try to intimidate these countries to get its way or yield to others in ways many Russians would fine offensive. This is a remarkable performance, Vladimir Nadein points out in Yezhednevny Zhurnal, one that is almost unprecedented. “Even Hitler,” even when it was obvious that he was losing the war “retained allies up to the end of 1944. But Putin, after ten years of uninterrupted rule doesn’t have any.”

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Russia’s Impending Banking Collapse

The Financial Times reports:

Hundreds of Russian banks are likely to go under by the end of the year as the amount of bad loans surges, potentially hitting as much as 20 per cent of credit portfolios, a senior Russian banker has warned.

Pyotr Aven, president of Alfa Bank, one of Russia’s largest private banks, called on the government to move swiftly to recapitalise the top 30 banks and name the institutions that will receive assistance to help kick-start the flow of credit, which has almost dried up amid growing fears over bad loans. “We can expect that the level of overdue loans for the whole system might reach 15-20 per cent” by the end of the year, Mr Aven told the Financial Times. “Maybe the 20-30 biggest banks, including Alfa, will receive state support – we’re sure. “But the future of hundreds of small banks is under big question . . . I believe that hundreds of banks will disappear by the end of the year.”

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Confirmed: KGB launched Cyber Attack on Georgia

Axis Global reports:

Security researchers from Greylogic published a report which concluded that the Main Intelligence Directorate of Armed Foces of the Russian Federation (GRU) and the Federal Security Service (FSB), rather than patriotic hackers, were likely to have played a key role in co-ordinating and organising the attacks, The Register writes. More circumstantial evidence has emerged linking the Russian authorities to cyber-attacks on Georgia that coincided with a ground war between the two countries in July and August last year.

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March 30, 2009 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  Deripaska buys himself a Senator

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Stormclouds over Georgia

(3)  EDITORIAL:  More Epic Russian Failure

(4)  Appelbaum to Obama:  Don’t Kid Yourself!

(5)  Stonewalling Nemtsov in Sochi

NOTE:   LR’s publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld’s latest installment of her Russia column on the prestigious American Thinker blog is up and running, focussing on the Kremlin’s outrageous assault on local government and urging the Republican Party to intercede. We couldn’t agree more.

NOTE: #1, #2 and #4 in today’s issue all contain powerful warnings to U.S. President Barack Obama concerning the neo-Soviet threat America faces from Russia.  We call upon the Republican party to rise from its stupor and start reminding the president of his obligation to defend American values and national security.

EDITORIAL: Deripaska buys himself a Senator


Deripaska buys himself a Senator

A while back, we wrote about a report being released by a committee chaired by former Democratic Senator Gary Hart and Republican turncoat Senator Chuck Hagel, following their meeting in Moscow with Russian “president” Dmitri Medvedev. LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld also wrote about the report in her Russia column on Pajamas Media.  This supposedly “bipartisan” commission was in fact nothing more than a Kremlin propaganda project, and all those who participated in it must be seen either as dangerously stupid or even more dangerously treacherous.

We lean towards treachery, because we’ve learned that Putin-friendly oligarch Oleg Deripaska lurks behind the report, making it seem that the document was bought and paid for by the Moscow Kremlin.

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EDITORIAL: Stormclouds over Georgia


Stormclouds over Georgia

No sooner had we republished last week a report by the brilliant defense analyst Pavel Felgenhauer warning that dark clouds of Russian war were hovering over Georgia than the Georgian government arrested a group of so-called “opposition” political actors and charged them with attempting, on video, to purchase a huge cache of automatic weapons.

That’s “opposition,” all right — Russian-style opposition!

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EDITORIAL: More Epic Russian Failure


More Epic Russian Failure

It would be hilarious if it were not so very horrifying.

Three years ago, the Kremlin implemented a new program of the Federal Migration Service designed to lure ethnic Russians back home  from abroad, and regardless of their current citizenship fasttrack them towards Russian passports.  Last year the program was funded to the tune of 8 billion rubles (a quarter of a billion dollars) and its goal was to bring 300,000 Russians back “home” by the end of this year.

It was an utter failure.  To date, only 12,000 Russians have returned home under the aegis of the program, and the revised federal budget all but abolishes the program and admits defeat, slashing its funding by 75% to less than 2 billion rubles this year.  At the current rate, it would take about 100 years to reach the 300,000 target.  By that time, “Russia” will be China.

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Applebaum to Obama: Don’t Kid Yourself

Writing on the American Enterprise Institute’s website (she’s an adjunct fellow there), the mighty Anne Applebaum warns Barack Obama to wake up and smell the burned bacon in the Moscow Kremlin:

“Press the reset button.” Is there any phrase more enticing in the modern lexicon? We all know what it means: Press the reset button, watch your computer reboot, and presto! A nice, clean screen appears, and you start again from scratch.

Yes, it’s a wonderful feeling, pressing that reset button. Unfortunately, it is also a deeply misleading, even vapid, metaphor for diplomatic relations.

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Stonewalling Nemtsov in Sochi

The Other Russia reports:

Boris Nemtsov, an opposition politician running for mayor in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, is facing stiff resistance on the campaign trail.  But the pressure isn’t coming from the 12 other candidates who have so far tossed their hats in the ring.  Nemtsov, a board member of the Solidarity movement, has instead been beset with pranks, provocations, and what seems to be a local unsaid order to stonewall his effort.

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March 29, 2009 — Contents


(1)  Jeremy Putley on Torture in Russian Prisons

(2)  EDITORIAL:  The Toxic Lies of Putinomics

(3)  EDITORIAL:  LR in Russian

(4)  The Sunday Pogrom: Russia Cracks down on the Jews

(5)  EDITORIAL:  Russia as Sharapova

Torture in Russian Prisons under Medvedev

Torture in a Volgograd prison, 2009

by Jeremy Putley

How Chechen prisoners are treated under President Dmitry Medvedev

It is a principle universally recognized, in countries governed by the rule of law, that imprisonment following conviction is all the penalty the law allows. Torture of prisoners is not any part of the punishment demanded by society. But in the Russian Federation, under the presidency of Dmitry Medvedev, that principle apparently does not apply, considering the evidence of numerous cases of which one of the most shocking is that of an imprisoned Chechen, Zubair Zubairaev.

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EDITORIAL: The Toxic Lies of Putinomics


The Toxic Lies of Putinomics

Writing in the Moscow Times last week, Anders Aslund pointed out just how very many utterly ridiculous lies were told by the Putin regime when it propounded it’s 2009 budget in November of last year, in the vortex of an economic crisis that was worsening by the day.

  • It said GDP would grow by 6%. Lie #1.  It now expects a 2% contraction.
  • It said there would be a 4% budget surplus. Lie #2. It now admits at least a 7% deficit.
  • It said the price of crude oil would be $95/barrel. Lie #3.  Now, it says the price will be just $40/barrel.
  • It said 25 rubles would buy one dollar.  Lie #4.  That became 33.
  • And it said, lie #5, that consumer price inflation would fall to 9%.  In fact, it will soar to 13%, or more.

In any normal country, a government caught in even one lie of this magnitude would be ridiculed and ridden out of town on a rail.  But Russia, of course, is not a normal country, and not even all five together are enough to raise an eyebrow among the rank and file of the citizenry.

The people of Russia, of course, get what they deserve. The impose no supervision on the Kremlin, and they do not call it to account when it fails.  Why should the Kremlin, then, care whether it fails or not? It would naturally only care about doing what is necessary to preserve itself in comfortable power, and if the people do not demand that their welfare be considered then of course it would not be.

No nation can be governed this way over the long haul, least of all a chicken-with-the-head-cut-off place like Russia.  As we’ve said many times before, Russia is simply repeating all the mistakes made by the USSR as if the collapse of that benighted wreck did not happen, or meant nothing.

EDITORIAL: LR in Russian


LR in Russian

The major Russian website InoForum has translated a second of our recent editorials, this time the one entitled “How We See It” in which we explained our confrontational approach to reform in Russia.  Previously, InoForum translated our editorial exposing of the extent of Vladimir Putin’s alienation of the people of the United States, entitled “Putin=Russophobia.”  Interestingly, they’ve also translated several of our reader comments posted to that editorial, a nice touch.  As a result of this, you may notice an increased number of Russian-language comments appearing on this blog from InoForum readers who transit here from their link to the source page (the material in Russian is also the subject of voluminous commenting on the InoForum website as well).  “How We See It” now has well over 100 comments.  

This same website, by the way, we praised for having translated Oleg Kozlovsky’s op-ed in the Washington Post when it appeared several months ago, attentive readers will recall.

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The Sunday Pogrom: Putin’s Russia cracks down on the Jews

The Baltimore Sun reports:

Two and a half years ago, a young Orthodox rabbi from New York set down in the port city of Vladivostok, family in tow. Yisroel Silberstein came with a mission, and he expected to stay for good. Out on Russia’s rough-and-tumble eastern frontier, Silberstein set out to revive a Jewish life that, he says, had almost disappeared. He reached out to several thousand local Jews, organizing services, holiday parties and a summer camp where children learned about Judaism and swam in the Sea of Japan. “We thought we were making a great difference in people’s lives,” he said in a telephone interview. “People went from not even knowing they were Jewish to becoming very interested in Jewish life and Jewish activities.”

But in February, Silberstein, his wife and two children were abruptly deported from the country and banned from returning for five years. Zvi Hershcovich, a Canadian rabbi who had been leading a small Jewish community in the southern city of Stavropol, also was expelled. Both men were accused by immigration authorities of visa violations.

The expulsions have sent a nervous chill through Russia’s Jewish minority.

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