SUNDAY APRIL 5 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: The Beeb and Mr. Medvedev
(2) EDITORIAL: Just When you think You’ve Seen Russia’s Worst
(3) Happy Birthday La Russophobe!
(4) More Economic Gibberish from Vladimir Putin
(5) Cherie Blair on Potemkin Putin
NOTE: Commenter “George” recommends the following online film on the history of Russian mass murder called “The Soviet Story” and we heartily concur. Mandatory viewing for those who want to understand where Russia has been and where it is going. Remember, while watching it, that today’s Russia is governed by a proud KGB spy who believes the fall of the USSR was a catastrophe and that the secret police can do no wrong.
The Beeb and Mr. Medvedev
The BBC aired a pathetic excuse for an “interview” with Russian “president” Dmitri Medvedev last week, and concluded by stating:
Who is Dmitry Medvedev really? No single interview can answer that question. But for what it is worth, he seemed to me a man on a journey, and rather more interesting than the Putin front man people describe. He is smart and he is well aware that he is a player in a world dominated by media-savvy rivals, not least the man he is clearly fascinated by, that Mr Obama.
What a charade: This is basic Psych 101 stuff. If Medvedev is a boring nobody, then so is the reporter who is interviewing him, and then why should the viewer care? But if Medvedev is “rather more interesting” . . . It’s also journalism 101, the part about ethics and conflict of interest.
The pathetically vapid nature of the BBC’s written summary of the interview is all the proof you need of how utterly useless the exercise was — and therefore how it played right into the Kremlin’s hands. Given this kind of spineless, idiotic coverage, it’s little wonder the Kremlin thinks it can liquidate KGB defectors on British soil using radiation weapons and get away with it.
Just When you Think You’ve Seen Russia’s Worst
Vostok Battalion Commander Sulim Yamadayev
Just when you think you’ve seen the very worst that Russia can possibly to offer, you see something so outrageous and repugnant that you can’t remember why you thought things were bad before.
On Tuesday, it was reported that police in Dubai, UAE, had arrested a Russian national in connection with the murder of Chechen Sulim Yamadayev, a harshly critical opponent of the Kremlin’s puppet ruler in Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov. Yamadayev was shot dead as he walked to his car parked at the luxury Jumeirah Beach Residence in Dubai Marina over the weekend. He becomes only the latest in a long string of obviously political murders which directly benefit the Kremlin. Within days, the Dubai police were pointing their finger of accusation directly at the Kremlin’s puppet regime in Chechnya, including one of its representatives in the Russian national parliament.
It’s difficult to say which prospect is more horrifying: That Kadyrov ordered this killing with approval from Moscow, or on his own initiative flouting the Kremlin’s authority.
As indicated by the chart above, which shows our web traffic here on WordPress, March 2009 was La Russophobe’s best month ever for visitation. For the first time in our history, we welcomed more than 90,000 visitors in a single month. There are many Russia blogs which have existed for years and haven’t had that many visitors in their entire histories.
Former Duma deputy and current Echo of Moscow radio host Vladimir Ryzkhov, writing in the Moscow Times:
The government announced its revised anti-crisis measures on March 19, and its message was perfectly clear: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his cohorts refuse to make any structural reforms to the existing political and economic system. They believe that Russia can emerge from the crisis in exactly the same form as it entered — with the same state monopolies, the same oligarchs and, most important, the same political leadership under the same power-vertical structure. While giving lip service to reforms — such as creating an innovation economy, developing small businesses and a middle class, improving health care and education and implementing the bombastic “Four I’s” program — nothing has been done on these projects. And I am convinced that nothing will be done because it is all smoke and mirrors.