Daily Archives: May 6, 2009

May 9, 2007 — Contents


(1)  Another Original LR Translation:  Pravda, Laid Bare

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Russia is a Deeply Psychotic Nation

(3)  In Russia, Jail the Mothers and Free the Rapists

(4)  Annals of Russia’s Unfriendly Skies

(5)  We must Embrace Ukraine

Another Original LR Translation: “There’s no Information in Truth”

The “Truth” Today

by Dave Essel

pravda-logoThe contents of a newspaper provide a snapshot of the world view it contains, both mirroring and creating the society in which it circulates. Here then are all the headlines from the Russian newspaper Pravda’s website on 5 May 2009 (a random choice – it’s just the day I’m looking). “Pravda” means “truth” in Russian and its rival Izvestia’s name means “Information.”  Both papers date back to Soviet times and retained their Soviet names when the USSR collapsed.  An old Soviet joke was:  “There’s no information in Truth and no truth in Information.”  

No surprise at what one finds: the mixture of nastiness, tendentiousness, stupidity and ignorance is just plain frightening!


Lead story:
“Ukraine is preparing in its own special way for the anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany. A plaque in honour of the Galicia SS division is to be erected in Ternopol…

Other stories:
About how bloggers can be jailed for their writings. Article claims to quote Committee to Protect Journalists on how bloggers can be jailed for their writings, naming a number of countries but NOT Russia.

No need for comment.

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EDITORIAL: Russia is a Deeply Psychotic Country


Russia is a Deeply Psychotic Country

In a recent public opinion survey, only43% of Russian respondents said they thought the country was moving in the right direction, down from 59% a year ago.  That’s not surprising, of course, given that the ruble has lost one-third of its value, foreign exchange reserves are down by half the and stock market by three-quarters.

But what is surprising is that even though a clear majority of Russians believe the country is on the wrong path, 76% of them say “prime minister” Vladimir Putin is doing a good job, while 68% say “president” Dmitri Medvedev is doing fine.

There’s only one word for that contradiction, and that word is:  Psychotic.

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In Putin’s Russia, they Free the Rapist Murderers and Jail the Mothers

Susanne Scholl, Moscow Bureau Chief for Austrian Public Television, writing in the Moscow Times:

Colonel Yury Budanov is a convicted rapist and murderer. After serving half of his 10-year prison sentence for the rape and murder of an 18-year-old Chechen, Elza Kungayeva, he was released in January on parole for good behavior.

Svetlana Bakhmina worked as a lawyer for former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky. In 2004, she was arrested and sentenced in 2006 to 6 1/2 years on embezzlement and tax fraud charges. Like Budanov, she applied for early release from prison in 2008. Her request was refused, as was her earlier plea in 2006 to suspend her sentence until her two small sons reached the age of 14 — a request she was entitled to make under Russian law.

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Annals of Russia’s Unfriendly Skies

The Moscow Times reports that Russians are no more eager to be pilots in Russia’s unfriendly skies than they are to be passengers:

With its neat rows of houses surrounded by lush greenery, the state-run Sasovo flight school is a bucolic place, graduating up to 300 pilots a year in Soviet times. Today, students occupy only two out of the six dormitory buildings, and the graduating class this spring will total about 40.

A growing shortage of pilots, one of the industry’s most pressing problems before the economic crisis, has been masked partially by falling passenger numbers. But aviation experts expect it to re=-emerge in full force.  The average age of a Russian pilot is 50, and 900 pilots are forced to quit every year after failing to pass strict medical tests, according to Federal Aviation Agency statistics. The government has launched a program that aims to churn out 1,000 new pilots nationwide every year, but even that measure will not fill the gap overnight. Meanwhile, the fallout of last year’s high jet fuel prices and the collapse of the AiRUnion coalition of airlines are still ricocheting through the industry, exasperating the situation both for pilots and those who hire them.

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We must Embrace Ukraine

Alexander Kwasniewski, formerly the president of Poland (1995-2005) calls Europe to task for failing to rally behind Ukraine, in the Wall Street Journal:

It will be 20 years later this month since President George H.W. Bush delivered his historic call for a “Europe whole and free” in Mainz, West Germany. The context in which he spoke was one of optimism and change made possible by Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms. Four days later, Poland held its first competitive, multiparty elections in more than half a century. By the end of the year the Berlin Wall lay in ruins and a surge of people power had dismantled one-party rule from the Baltics to the Black Sea. The Soviet Union survived for another two years, but its fate had effectively been sealed.

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