Daily Archives: May 16, 2009

May 18, 2009 — Contents

MONDAY MAY 18 CONTENTS

(1)  EDITORIAL:  Unhinged Medvedev on the Warpath

(2) The Plot against Plotina

(3)  If you were a Russian, You’d Hate Yourself too!

(4)  Politkovskaya Points her Finger from the Grave

(5)  Oh, the Horror of Russian Restaurants

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EDITORIAL: Unhinged Medvedev on the Warpath

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EDITORIAL

Unhinged Medvedev on the Warpath

As neo-Soviet nuclear weapons and tanks prowled Red Square two weekends ago, Russian “president” Dima Medvedev boldly declared (clearly and repeatedly referencing Russia’s invasion of Georgia): “Russia’s defense is our holy duty.  Any aggression against our citizens will be rightfully repelled.”

Anyone who still thinks this maniac might be a liberal clearly needs to have his head examined.

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The Plot against Plotina

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Paul Goble reports that the Putin regime is now attempting to turn the extremism law, supposedly aimed at terrorists, towards crushing Russia’s infant environmentalist movement:

RusHydro, which builds and operates hydroelectric stations for the Russian government, has accused a group opposing a dam it wants to build in Krasnoyarsk kray of extremism, a charge that prompted interior ministry officers there to call in representatives of the website of the opposition yesterday for “an explanation.” But the charge and the expansive definition of “extremism” interior ministry officials have accepted has prompted the Russian section of the World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, and other environmental protection groups to denounce the company for engaging in such “black PR” against its opponents.

This battle goes back several years. If RusHydro goes ahead with its plans, some one million hectares of land will be flooded, destroying not only a unique natural habitat but also putting at risk the survival of a small ethnic community, the Evenks, who have lived there and depended on that environment from time immemorial.

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If you were a Russian, You’d Hate yourself Too!

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Agniya Kuznetsova

Agniya Kuznetsova

The Atlantic reports (click the link to watch the trailer for the film discussed):

Vladimir Putin’s tenure as Russian president was defined, among other things, by the parade of “It Girls” catapulted to local—and in a few cases, like that of Ksenia Sobchak, global—fame under his watch: young women whose unofficial job was to broadcast the exuberance, the strut, the sexual prowess of a reviving superpower. A few of these starlets actually did something (for example, Dasha Zhukova opened an art gallery); almost all were beneficiaries of powerful fathers and/or significant others. Like Paris Hilton, they were famous for being famous.

Now the oil boom is over, and the economic kreezis has tossed oligarchs off Forbes’s annual list of billionaires, halted skyscrapers mid-storey, and sparked Communist demonstrations in Vladivostok and Moscow. A new inwardness, a discontent, is seeping across the country.

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From the Grave, Politkovskaya points her Finger at the Malignant Little Troll called Putin

A true Russian patriot

A true Russian patriot

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The Voice of America reports:

Recently, Freedom House, a U.S.-based non-governmental organization, released its annual survey on freedom of the press. The current report points to “particularly worrisome trends in the former Soviet Union, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.”

The study reinforces the message of a new documentary about suppression of the Russian media and the slayings of hundreds of Russian journalists since the fall of the Soviet Union. The film, 211: Anna, focuses on Russian journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya, who was killed in 2006. She had reported extensively on alleged Russian links to war crimes in Chechnya and was openly critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin.  

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Oh, the Horror of Russian Restaurants

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When you combine the scabrous horror of Russian cuisine with the infamous hostility of Russians to anything remotely resembling customer service and Russia’s even more pernicious problems with corruption and pollution, you have a grim restaurant vortex from which nothing resembling light or hope can escape.  Now one heroic blogger has taken it upon himself to record the carnage (if it’s like this in Moscow, Russia’s city of cities, do you dare to imagine what it’s like in the hinterlands?). The Moscow Times reports:

After yet another unfulfilling Moscow meal, one expat recently snapped and launched his own restaurant review web site. This is no Michelin list, as he refuses to rate any restaurant with one star, let alone five.

Unlike tourist guides, which tend to view the city from behind rose-colored glasses, this annoyed foreigner rants at Rus-res-rev.ru about a world in which the customer is always wrong and generally leaves with a bad taste in his mouth — and not just because of the mediocre, overpriced and undercooked food.

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