MONDAY MARCH 30 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.