Daily Archives: March 25, 2009

March 27, 2009 — Contents

FRIDAY MARCH 27 CONTENTS

(1)  Another original LR Translation:  Novodvorskaya on Putler

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Putin’s Russia in Black and White

(3)  EDITORIAL:  Squirting Nemtsov

(4)  Putin’s Internet Goon Squads Exposed

(5)  The Russian Military is Collapsing

NOTE: If you’re in Virginia, you can hear Andrei Illarionov speak on “Russian resurgence” at U Va on Friday.

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Another Original LR Translation: Novodvorskaya on Vladimir Putler

A Note from the Translator:  I recently translated for LR Novaya Gazeta’s jokey response to Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu’s idiotic call for denial of the victory of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War to be made an criminal offence, in a logically absurd attempt to make this appear a corollary of Holocaust denial. (Maybe excess bile addles the brain and the Ukraine’s morally and logically correct assessment of the Holodomor as a act of genocide has made him bilious?). Anyway, here from Grani.ru is a supremely intelligent piece with much food for thought.  [LR:  Click the “Essel” category in our sidebar to read Dave’s prior translation]

Without Hitler or Stalin

Valeria Novodvorskaya

Grani.ru

20.03.09

Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel

Valeria Novodvorskaya

Valeria Novodvorskaya

I should start by saying sorry to Sergei Kuzhegetovich Shoigu as I consider the part he plays in breeding prize labradors in Russia is particularly impressive. I like labradors – and that includes Koni [TN: Putin’s dog, a gift to him from Shoigu). A good dog should not be blamed for having a bad master. I won’t get started on the Ministry of Emergency Situations – we are a catastrophic country and a country of catastrophes, so I imagine that Mr. Shoigu keeps himself pretty busy and I’ve heard no great complaints in this area.

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EDITORIAL: Putin’s Russia, in Black and White

EDITORIAL

Putin’s Russia, in Black and White

Russia in Black & White

Russia in Black & White

Well, maybe this one will do it.

Last week the AFP reported that a Russian ice cream bar was being marketed with the poster shown at left, which declares:  “Everybody’s talking about it — darkness inside of whiteness.”  It is emblazoned with a likeness of U.S. President Barack Obama.

AFP quoted Andrei Gubaidullin of Voskhod Advertising Agency, who created the ad: “For Russia, this is not racist. It is fun and that’s it. We don’t consider teasing ethnic groups racist. It is just seen as a joke.”

Is this sufficiently blunt trauma for Mr. Obama to wake up and realize the horror of the neo-Soviet state arrayed against him?

If not, there’s more. Much more.

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EDITORIAL: Squirting Nemtsov

EDITORIAL

Squirting Nemtsov

It’s hard to recall a more pathetic news report issuing from Russia in recent years than last Monday’s, which indicated that former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov had been squirted in the face with ammonium chloride while campaigning for mayor of his native city of Sochi.

Seasoned Russia watchers will remember that Nemtsov’s career in the public eye began with a similar incident, when rogue nationalist maniac Vladimir Zhirinovsky splashed a glass of orange juice over him during a vehement exchange on a TV talk show debate. 

How is it possible, we must ask, that these apes are unable to understand that by lashing out with violence they are merely confirming that they have been defeated in the arena of civilized politics? How can they fail to understand that by lashing out with violence, they are merely confirming — better than their foes ever could — the worst of their foes criticisms?

Well, because they are apes, that’s why.

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Putin’s Internet Goon Squads Exposed

Open Democracy’s Polit.ru website translates an article published last May on the Expertiza.ru website about Vladimir Putin’s Internet goon squads. Our readers first learned about this issue a year before that, when we posted out original translation from the Gulag website along similar lines.

Political forums on the internet are relatively new for the Russian public. They’re today’s “universal kitchen”, where public opinion is “cooked up”. Users report that before 1999 such forums were fairly homogenous sociologically. 70-80% of the audience consisted of like-minded people of liberal and democratic convictions, representatives of the Russian middle class and Russian-speaking émigrés.

However, in a mere four years this has all changed. Suddenly, totalitarian opinion makes up 60-80% of all posts on Russian political forums! This dramatic increase does not correspond to the spectrum of public opinion. It diverges significantly from data of internet voting on key problems of modern Russian life.

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The Russian Military is Collapsing

The Weekly Standard reports:

Traditionally, one of the more important arms shows for Russian industry has been the International Defence Exposition (IDEX) that took place late last month in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Despite the financial woes they are suffering, Russian industry has to participate to try and keep itself alive. However, no one could possibly reconcile the behavior of the Russian delegation at this expo with the dire situation that their industry faces back home.

The fortunes of the Russian defense industrial sector at present make AIG and Bank of America look like the financial picture of health. The Russian industrial conglomerate umbrella company, Rostekhnologia (ROT) that has monopoly control over the entirety of the nation’s defense industry is headed by Sergei Chemezov. He is also a life-long –and perhaps the number one– FOV (Friend of Vladimir Putin) in the Russian government, the two having first befriended one another when they served together in the former East German Democratic Republic (GDR) as KGB officers during the waning days of the Cold War.

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