MONDAY MARCH 23 CONTENTS
(1) Putley on the Gatayev Atrocity
(2) Russia, Iran & Georgia: The New Great Game
(3) EDITORIAL: The War against Russia’s Mayors
(4) NASHI in Finland
(5) Is War Looming in the Caucuses?
(6) A Russian Bloodbath in California
NOTE: We are delighted to publish today (#1 & #2) not just one but two original submissions, exclusive to our blog. We remind readers that we welcome such submissions by e-mail at all times and on all topics relating to Russia, regardless of length. We are happy to translate material from Russian into English and to provide editorial services for those for whom English is not a primary language. With more than 3,000 daily visitors, we are one of the most powerful voices on Russia policy in the Western world. Make your voice heard!
NOTE: We are pleased to note that our editorial “Putin=Russophobia” has been translated into Russian by the InoForum website, which performs the admirable service of making important articles about Russia from the Western media available to Russians in their own language.
The Devils of Lithuania
by Jeremy Putley
Original to La Russophobe
Heroes and heroines are found in lots of unlikely places. I have only recently heard about the remarkable story of Kadijat and Malik Gatayev, Chechens living in Lithuania.
The Caspian Sea Connection:
Iran’s nukes, the war in Georgia, and the New Great Game
by Stephen Smith
(original to La Russophobe)
In Obama’s first television interview, given to al-Arabiya, he said of Iran: “If [they] are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us.” Presumably at least a couple of fingers on this “clenched fist” that Obama speaks of represented Iran’s nuclear ambitions — an issue which has taken on an added urgency as UN officials reported recently that Iran is closer to having enough highly-enriched uranium to make a bomb than previously thought.
Unfortunately, though, Obama is unlikely to have much more success in dismantling Iran’s nuclear program than Bush did, since he doesn’t recognize the root cause of Iran’s nuclear ambitions: Russia’s ambitions for the Caspian Sea region.
The War against Russia’s Mayors
Last week independent candidate Sergei Subbotin crushed his opponent from Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, by a margin of nearly 2:1, and seized the mayoralty of the frozen far-northern city of Murmansk. In perhaps history’s most egregious instance of hypocrisy, United Russia (itself perhaps the most spectacularly corrupt political party in world history) accused Subbotin of rigging the election with the complicity of the regional governor. United Russia also lost a mayoral race in the central Russian city of Smolensk.
Some in the idiotic Russophile set may attempt to claim this means Russia isn’t a dicatorship but has real elections. Dream on, morons. Subbotin was quoted as saying: “I’m a supporter of Vladimir Putin.”
Just suppose, dear reader, that a bunch of anti-Putin foreign students decided to travel to Russia and participate in a demonstration against Putin on Red Square attacking a piece of anti-American neo-Soviet propaganda being circulated in Russian theaters. How do you think the Kremlin would respond? Would it allow such a thing to occur?
The Russian government-supported youth movement, Nashi, plans to hold demonstrations in the Finnish capital, Helsinki, on 23 March 2009 against a seminar organised by the Estonian Embassy in Helsinki. Johan Bäckman, leader of the self-declared “Finnish Anti-Fascist Committee” (Safka), said Estonia’s pro-Moscow Nightwatch (Nochnoy Dozor) organisation will also take part in the demonstrations. The organisers of the planned demonstration repeat Kremlin’s assertion that the seminar, Fear Behind the Wall, is “anti-Russian” and “pro-Nazi.”
Posted in nashi, russia
Tagged nashi, russia
The always brilliant Pavel Felgenhauer, writing on the Jamestown Foundation’s Eurasia Daily Monitor:
It is early springtime and in the mountain passes separating Georgia from Russia, there is snowfall one day and wet snow or rain the next. Avalanches and mudslides caused by wet snow regularly close down the only road connecting Russia and the breakaway region of South Ossetia through the Roki Tunnel (RIA Novosti, March 9). Low clouds and fog in the mountains keep Russian helicopters and jets grounded for days and weeks. But in two months, the weather will be fine. In May the last snow will melt on the high mountain passes and it will be wartime again in the region.
Well, a Russian woman won a significant tennis tournament last week, but once again it wasn’t pretty. In fact, it reminded one of the way in which Russia “won” World War II, at a cost of millions of lives and with whole cities razed to nothing.
At the Tier I, $4.5-million WTA tour event last week in Indian Wells, California, Russia had four of the top six seeds and its marquee player, Maria Sharapova (too gutless to face a singles match yet), entered in the doubles draw to boot.
By the time the dust had settled after the first week of tournament play, only two of Russia’s five top players were still standing.