Daily Archives: May 7, 2009

May 10, 2009 — Contents


(1)  Another Original LR Translation:  Golts on the Russian “Army”

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Russia’s So-Called “Army”

(3)  Exposing Russia’s Joke Judiciary

(4)  Another Round of Internet Crackdown in Putin’s Russia

(5)  The Kremlin Makes Policy by Hallucination

NOTE:  You can listen to Paul Goble and other experts discussing Russia’s population collapse here.

Another Original LR Translation: Golts on the Russian “Army”

A note from the translator:  One of the problems with Russia is that no contract, social or commercial, is considered binding. Thus deep lawlessness prevails. The consequences may be dire and, given what Russia presents today, I hope they will be. One good step down this path is seeing what happens if you piss off your Armed Forces. Russia’s vlasti (powers-that-be) look like they are setting about it. The voices of freedom should be making major propaganda about this but will probably remain polite little appeasement artists.

Tearing Up the Contract

Aleksandr Golts,

5 May 2009

Yezhedevny  Zhurnal

Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel

Practically any medication can, if one uses it another way, become a poison. It all depends on the dose and how it is used. Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov recently issued orders for the extraordinary attestation (i.e. sudden re-testing) of all servicemen. Deputy Defence Minister Nikolai Pankov has reported that re-testing of 85% of the officer corps and 79% of the NCOs has now been completed. The only results so far made public are for the senior officer contingent. Of 250 generals and colonels serving in generals’ posts, 50 have been found to be substandard and will proposed for discharge from the armed forces. One can safely assume that no less than 20% of the remainder will also fail their attestations.

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EDITORIAL: Russia’s So-Called “Army”


Russia’s So-Called “Army”

$840 million.

That’s roughly what it would cost the Kremlin in cash alone to honor its obligation to pay $5,600 to each of the 150,000 Russian army officers it plans to discharge in order to avoid the future cost of their upkeep as the Kremlin’s budget revenues plummet in the wake of falling oil prices.  The nation’s hundred-billion-dollar budgetary reserve fund is expected to fully exhaust by the end of next year attempting to make up for the lost revenues even with deficit spending and massive foreign borrowing.

Writing in the Moscow Times columnist and defense expert Alexander Golts (we’ve also translated his piece from the Russian press on the same topic in today’s lead item) says the Kremlin doesn’t have the money to cash them out, and that’s not the Kremlin’s only obligation. It also has to buy each one of them an apartment!

If the Kremlin Welshes on this obligation, as seems inevitable and as the Russian state has done so often in the past, stabbing its citizens in the back whenever the mood strikes, it will be a clear sign of just how low into neo-Soviet mire the Putin regime has already descended.

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Exposing Russia’s Joke Judiciary

Paul Goble reports:

Moscow no longer has to use the Soviet-era practice of “telephone justice” in which senior officials called judges to tell them what decisions to announce, according to a Russian jurist. Instead, the Kremlin has developed a far more effective “power vertical” in which the judges themselves can be counted on to return “correct” verdicts.

Sergey Pashin, a retired federal judge who earlier helped to prepare the 1991 judicial reforms, argues that “the chief problem” is not ‘telephone justice’ but rather that judges themselves do not want to be independent.” With the possible exception of a brief period during the early years of Boris Yeltsin’s presidency, Pashin writes, “Russia’s judges always were dependent.” Many people had hoped that they would become more so, but “then inertia took the upper hand and everything returned” to what it had been. “When people say that judges have become part of the executive power,” the former jurist says, they are deceiving themselves because “in fact there is no division of power in Russia” and consequently “judges are not part of the executive power but instead an element of the power vertical.”

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Another Round of Internet Crackdown in Putin’s Russia

Other Russia reports:

Russian lawmakers are developing new measures to combat the spread of internet-slang into daily life. As the Novye Izvestiya newspaper reports, the project is still in its early stages, although ambitions run high.

The hubbub over net-speak—purposeful misspellings and emoticons combining into what Russians call “Olbanian” (a made-up language in itself a misspelling of Albanian)–comes as Russia’s lower house, the State Duma, is preparing draft legislation to regulate all aspects of the Internet. One part of the law intends to control the language used by Russians to communicate online, according to Yelena Zelinskaya, the deputy-chairwoman of the Public Chamber Commission on Preserving Cultural Heritage.

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The Kremlin makes Policy by Hallucination

Russian pundit Yevgeny Kiselyov, writing in the Moscow Times:

After British writer H.G. Wells met Vladimir Lenin in the Kremlin in 1920, he described the visit in his book “Russia in the Shadows.” Wells referred to Lenin as “the Kremlin dreamer” after listening to Lenin’s utopian plans for rapidly developing a country in ruins after the Bolshevik Revolution and civil war.

Wells returned to the Soviet Union in 1934 to meet with Lenin’s successor, Josef Stalin. Although Wells acknowledged that some of Lenin’s industrial plans had indeed been realized, he understood that they were achieved at a tremendous human cost through Stalin’s brutal tyranny that included the gulag and forced labor. In the end, Wells was convinced that Stalin was no better than Adolf Hitler or Benito Mussolini and that the West should never align itself with the Soviet Union.

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