EDITORIAL: Putin’s Final Purge

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EDITORIAL

Putin’s Final Purge

Given Vladimir Putin’s 75% approval ratings in opinion polls, one would not have thought it would have been necessary for him to purge every single opposition party and deputy from the Russian Duma and to seize control of every single TV station and major newspaper.

But Putin knows his approval rating is smoke and mirrors, so in fact it is quite necessary.

And having wiped out opposition politics in the Duma and achieved a chokehold on the media, one would not have thought it would have been necessary for Putin, in the manner of Stalin, to aggressively seek to liquidate every last vestige of opposition outside the mainstream corridors of power.  One might have thought Putin clever enough to realize how much such an effort would look like desperation, weakness and cowardice.

But Putin is so blind now that he, like Stalin before him, can no longer perceive reality accurately and is mired in abject paranoia.

And so it was that the Moscow Times reported last week that Putin launched yet another full-scale offensive on all the last vestigial traces of opposition left in the country.  “Liberal” Dima Medvedev’s voice was nowhere to be heard. 

According to the MT, the United Russia party has published a “paper” accusing the Other Russia coalition, led by Garry Kasparov, Boris Nemtsov and Mikhail Kasyanov, of corruption and spying for the West.  Maxim Grigoryev, head of the Fund on Research of Democracy Problems, the think tank that drafted the report on UN’s behalf, stated ominously: “The public must no longer support those politicians and representatives of the public sector.”   Note that he didn’t say “should not” but “must no longer.” Sound pretty much like a threat, doesn’t it?

The report even goes so far as to name the shoestring Oborona protest organization led by human rights laureate Oleg Kozlovsky.  It accuses them of  “receiving financial support from foreign groups and exiled Russian tycoons, using the money for personal enrichment, bribery and deceiving voters.”  The only original source material it claims is “anonymous interviews with rank-and-file opposition activists.”  That’s right, anonymous.

The MT reports:

Ilya Yashin, a senior Solidarity official who formerly headed Oborona and Yabloko’s youth branch, is accused in the report of receiving money for opposition activities from former Yukos co-owner Leonid Nevzlin, who fled to Israel in 2003. Yashin called the accusations “a lie” in a brief telephone interview Thursday. Kasparov, accused in the report of asking exiled tycoon Boris Berezovsky for money to finance his opposition activities, earlier denied any ties to Berezovsky in an interview with The Moscow Times.

The MT quotes Pavel Danilin, a consultant at the Effective Policy Foundation, a think tank with strong ties to the Kremlin: “They are not accountable and not transparent, and this is a big problem.”  The MT reminds readers that in 2007 Danilin co-authored a book titled Putin’s Enemies that describes then-President Vladimir Putin as “Russia’s enemies.”  Danilin defines “corruption” as including “legal or illegal actions that contradict the public interests.”  It’s hard to believe this, isn’t it?  Is he really saying that legal acts that violate “the public interest” as the Kremlin defines it constitute corruption?  Yes, that’s exactly what he’s saying.

How is it possible that the Kremlin is still so afraid of Other Russia, a group which has zero members of parliament?  Is the Kremlin really so fundamentally weak that it feels it must entirely liquidate the group before it can feel safe?

You bet it is.  And so in a way, this is good news.  Barred from the corridors of power, Other Russia is still making headway, forcing the Kremlin to use gestapo tactics against it and exposing the KGB thugs who run it for what they are.

51 responses to “EDITORIAL: Putin’s Final Purge

  1. Very nice article. Yes, Putin is an extremely tough figure. While his tactics are anything but desirable, there is an element of the Russian mentality that needs to be taken into account. As people have likely figured out by now, each nation state has its own type of people, which require a specific type of ruler in order for the people to survive. Iraq is a great example of this … under Saddam, the people of Iraq were ruled with an iron fist, but the majority of the people were substantially happier then than now. I am not writing this to debate, merely making a point.

    Russian’s recognize this as well. They also understand, at least many of them do, that Putin is ruling with an iron fist. However, they embrace it for one simple reason … that is the type of ruler that Russian’s need most. What scares many Russians is the West’s intervention … similar to what happened in Ukraine. Before the west got involved, Ukraine was slowly prospering. While it too was ruled with an iron fist, and extreme corruption, things got done and the people lived happy. Once the west sponsored their ‘glorious leader’ Yushchenko, the country all but collapsed. Many Russians fear this is what the west is attempting to do with Putin.

    If Putin goes, Russians acknowledge that another strong figure needs to take his place. The Russians admire Putin for his ability to stand his ground, and to tell the west what he thinks of them. Kasparov is not that figure, and will never be accepted by Russians.

    As for Putin and his tactics, lets be perfectly honest, if you were in his place, would you do differently? You too would likely want to retain power. In a land like Russia, where the president and his close circle make billions in bribery annually, no one would give that up lightly. Putin will do everything in his power to retain his command. I think that it is only a matter of time before he crosses the line, upsetting his people, allowing the next leader to take his place.

    • Perfectly happy living under extreme corruption? The damage caused by institutional corruption is the source of Ukraines problems today, just as it resulted in the collapse of the Soviet Union.
      So what was the Orange movement then? They seemed pretty unhappy, and voted to match.

      Zhann, you are a real LMF case, morally bankrupt to say the least.

      One true Russian proverb “A fish rots from the head”

      • I don’t seem to follow you. At the time of the Orange Revolution, the people were highly supportive of Yushchenko because of his promises. None of his promises came true … not a single one. Yushchenko was coached by the Bush administration, and received heavy financing by the Bush administration. Now, the people are extremely upset at him. Yushchenko has less than a 3% approval rating, even Bush couldn’t manage that.

        As for Putin, I know hundreds of Russians, and very few don’t support him. Again, most acknowledge that he is a brutal dictator and that he rules with an iron fist, but they accept it.

        As for the fish rotting from the head, no doubt … but, if the people support their leader, what can you do? Russians have embraced corruption, and often brag about its conveniences … I know that this is a sick thought, but very true.

        Just curious, but have you been to either Russia or Ukraine recently? … or any former soviet republics?

        • I live in a former Soviet Republic.

          • Now I am confused. Assuming that you don’t live in the Baltic states, you must be surrounded by more or less the same people that I am. Have you not noticed an overwhelming support for Putin? Even Georgia, a very anti-Russia state, has a high Putin approval rating, especially among the businessmen of the country.

            LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

            Would you care to document this totally absurd claim with source material? Even in the Georgian opposition Putin and Russia are hated like the plague. You’re spouting nonsense.

            • No, I have noticed a very high ANTI Putin rating, amongst working class people though.
              I think you must have been watching too much Russia Today.
              I have not met anyone here who likes Putin, though I can’t speak for the business elite.

    • A honnest comment to say the least, but I doubt it is true. I refuse to regard Russians as a kind of Untermenschen who can only have some form of society when they are ruled by an authoritarian system or dictatorship. My esteem for Russians is too high to share that view. That is why I am so angry at the current Russian regime. They suffocate any possibility for Russia to become a normal and prosperous civil society, where the state functions to support the people and not the other way round.

      You know, it was said from the Germans before World War II that democraty was not an appropriate governing system for Germany, and that Germans needed a strong leader. And look now, 70 years later they are one of the most prosperous states in the world and without a doubt one of the most democratic functioning state in the world. I refuse to believe that Russians are not able to do what Germans could.

      • Paul, you are forgetting that West Germany was thoroughly de-Nazified and supervised for decades by the Allies. Its constitution was rewritten and the Marshall Plan rebuilt its economy. The tenets of democracy were restored there. And, Germany was always a culturally western country in spite of the Third Reich.

        Japan is a success for the same reasons of external occupation and democracy being forced upon them. The US wrote their present constitution. And, of course, lustration occured in both countries. Bad ideas and behaviors were made illegal.

        Russia is what it is which is certainly not western in civil society attitudes and culture as we know it.

      • Paul:

        You may refuse to regard Russians as preferring a dictatorship in some form, but proof is in the pudding. If a large majority of Russians do support their current rulers, then you premise has been refuted. Do you agree that they have an authoritarian system in place? Do you agree they support it voluntarily?

        Not only do many Russians on this board support their system, but they also seem to genuinely believe they are as advanced as the West in every respect. Did you see their contemptuous evaluations of democracy and liberty?

        How do you square these things with your apparent notion that Russians value an idea of free society?

    • “Iraq is a great example of this … under Saddam, the people of Iraq were ruled with an iron fist, but the majority of the people were substantially happier then than now. I am not writing this to debate, merely making a point.”

      • It really depends what you mean by “happier”. An avarage Shiite is happy to not be opressed and unhappy becauase of violence (and then a “happy Shiite” is somewhat an oxymoron because they are a cult of martyrdom, awaiting the return of Mahdi and the end of the world – less or more individually). The Kurds are better off and the Kurdish-majority areas are relatively very calm. Being an avarage Sunni Arab sucks now but they’re a minority. And Saddam was mourned only in his hometown of Tikrit while the former Saddam City celebrated.

    • • zhann // May 29, 2009 at 10:27 am | Reply
      Very nice article.
      I AM VERY GLAD THAT YOU ARREE.
      Yes, Putin is an extremely tough figure. While his tactics are anything but desirable, there is an element of the Russian mentality that needs to be taken into account.
      UNDESIREABLE IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT!
      As people have likely figured out by now, each nation state has its own type of people, which require a specific type of ruler in order for the people to survive. Iraq is a great example of this … under Saddam, the people of Iraq were ruled with an iron fist, but the majority of the people were substantially happier then than now. I am not writing this to debate, merely making a point.
      YOU SPOUT THE DISINFORMATION AND YOU DEMAND THAT THIS DISINFORMATION IS NOT OPEN TO DISPUTE??? THE KURDS MUST HAVE BEEN EXTREMELY HAPPY TO BE USED AS GUNIE PIGS FOR GERM AND CHEMICAL WARFARE????????
      Russian’s recognize this as well.
      ROOSHA NOT ONLY RECOGNIZED THE GENOCIDE OF THE KURDS, THE KREMLIN’S POLICY, PRACTICE, AND PROCUDURE HAS BEEN TO ORCHESTRATE AND EXICUTE GENOCIDE.
      They also understand, at least many of them do, that Putin is ruling with an iron fist. However, they embrace it for one simple reason … that is the type of ruler that Russian’s need most. What scares many Russians is the West’s intervention … similar to what happened in Ukraine.
      WHAT SCARES THE KREMLIN {NOT THE ROOSHANS} IS THAT THEY HAVE BEEN TRYING TO EXTERMINATE THE UKRINIAN PEOPLE, LANGEAGE, AND CULTURE FOR CENTURIES, AND THEY HAVE FAILED.
      Before the west got involved, Ukraine was slowly prospering. While it too was ruled with an iron fist, and extreme corruption, things got done and the people lived happy.
      IT WAS RULED BY THE OLD COMMIE GUARD, AT FIRST, AND THEN PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO BECAME ELECTED.
      Once the west sponsored their ‘glorious leader’ Yushchenko, the country all but collapsed.
      *******************In rewriting their books, it appears that the kremlin removed the words Ukraine and Ukrainian from their dictionary and replaced them with the word orangestani. In spite of the kremlin’s many decades of disinformation and propaganda, the world realizes that Ukraine is a separate and distinct culture, language, and nationality. When will the kremlin stop their incessant whining and realize that they failed “TO EXTERMINATE THE UKRAINIANS”?**************
      Many Russians fear this is what the west is attempting to do with Putin.
      If Putin goes, Russians acknowledge that another strong figure needs to take his place. The Russians admire Putin for his ability to stand his ground, and to tell the west what he thinks of them. Kasparov is not that figure, and will never be accepted by Russians.
      KASPAROV IS A GRAND MASTER IN CHESS! MUST I ASSUME THAT YOU ARE BETTER?
      As for Putin and his tactics, lets be perfectly honest, if you were in his place, would you do differently? You too would likely want to retain power. In a land like Russia, where the president and his close circle make billions in bribery annually, no one would give that up lightly.
      THIS MEANS THAT ROOSHANS CONDONE THIS?
      Putin will do everything in his power to retain his command. I think that it is only a matter of time before he crosses the line, upsetting his people, allowing the next leader to take his place.
      YOU END YOUR STATEMENT QUITE SUBLIMINATLY.

  2. Zhann, by “need” I think you mean “are used to”.

    Change is always traumatic, and profound social change such as Russia started to go through in the 90’s (and Iraq is going through now) is especially traumatic. Any kind of change creates new opportunities, new possibilities and these can be exploited by “bad people” (for lack of a better common denominator).

    Now, the individual person would very understandably be less comfortable with these opportunists in charge than “the good old times” (after all, the devil you know is much better than the one you don’t). But – and this is the important part – this change offers opportunities for EVERYONE, not just the party aparatchiks-bureaucrats-oligarchs.

    I know several Russians, and even though my evaluation of the Russian Federation might radically differ from their view, not one of the people I know actually WANTS to achieve nothing, be downtrodden and optionless. it’s human nature (and Russians are human, right?) to want fulfilment and approval on a professional as well as personal level. But in Russia now an individual simply cannot achieve these things without “working the system” – which, of course is true in any other country in the world as well. Only most of the other countries don’t dictate how the individual must think, speak, behave (regarding politics) in order to advance.

    or, to put it in a joke form (dating from the Cold War times but very applicable now as well):
    FBI is questioning a Russian immigrant:
    “So, how was life in the Soviet Union?”
    “I couldn’t complain”
    “But then why did you move over here?”
    “Here, I can complain”

    • Well put. My use of “need” may be a stretch, but I am simply trying to convey what I hear very regularly. The majority of my acquaintances here in Ukraine are very political in nature, and this is a common topic of discussion. I am not sure if it is a national issue, but I find that people in Ukraine/Russia are far more politically oriented than those in the USA. While voter turnout may not be substantially different, conversations quickly turn political around me.

      My personal views do differ a bit from what I write. I am trying to lay out the mindset behind much of what goes on in Russia. It is highly unfortunate that corruption has gripped the former soviet states so heavily. Strangely, corruption has jumped dramatically since the USA got involved in Ukraine. There are many theories running around about this, but they are just talk.

      • I don’t think pro-Putinism is as clear cut as you put it in Ukraine, zhan. I am married to a Ukrainian and go often to Ukraine (mostly Kiev and Simferopol), and in my observation pro-Putinism is as you describe among Russians, or those who identify as Russians (e.g. my wife’s parents, who despite being 50% Ukrainian and speaking Ukrainian flawlessly, prefer their 50% Russian blood and strongly identify with Russia).

        Among more Ukraine-oriented people, I have noticed quite a lot of opposition to Putin. I’ve seen him described as “a terrible dictator”, I’ve heard one person wish she could “kill him telepathically”… Probably because Putin’s opinions on Ukraine and the Ukrainians are famously contemptuous.

      • Dear zhann,

        Typical kremlin spin-doctor propaganda is that the “corruption” in Ukraine is the fault of the USA. I will not waste my time discussing the corruption in every country on this planet. Since President Yushchenko became elected, journalists have not been exterminated; freedom of the press and media flourishes, the truth about history, WWI + WWII, gulags, HOLODOMOR is exposed, etc. This makes the kremlin angry because “THE TRUTH ALWAYS HURTS” roosha. This is the reason why the kremlin hates President Yushchenko and promotes calls for early elections and impeachment and annexing or splitting up Ukraine. This is why the DCKT calls Ukrainians Nazi/fascist/Nazy, etc. Meanwhile, kremlin backed yanykovich, who spent hard time in prison for rape and assault, repeatedly blocks parliament, for scores of days, to prevent Ukraine from recovering. The 3% figure that I keep seeing is ludicrous and may have come from a poll in moscow?

        putin did a “trial run” in Chechnya and Georgia, but his main focus is on Ukraine. putin’s comments show no respect for a sovereign nation and nationality.

        “These comments by Putin should be taken very seriously,” says Olexandr Paliy, a political analyst with the Institute of Foreign Policy at the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Diplomatic Academy. “Russia is engaged in a propaganda war against Ukraine, designed to convince the West not to support Ukraine. Russia doesn’t understand cooperation with equals, only with subordinates.”

        http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20090525/wl_time/08599190083800

        The kremlin has occupied Ukraine for centuries, and has tried to destroy the Ukrainian people, language and culture. They still think that Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine, etc. belongs to muscovy. When will roosha grow up. or at least graduate kindergarten?

        Putin Confirms: Ukraine Is Russia’s
        May 29, 2009 | From theTrumpet.com
        By Richard Palmer

        Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned the West that Ukraine belongs to Russia, the Russian press reported last Sunday. Putin visited the graves of Russian nationalist heroes and thinkers last weekend to mark Slavic Written Language and Culture Days. After laying a wreath on the grave of Anton Denikin, a military commander who led the white Russians against the Bolsheviks, he urged the journalists present to read Denikin’s diaries.

        “He has a discussion there about Big Russia and Little Russia—Ukraine,” he said. “He says that nobody should be permitted to interfere in relations between us; they have always been the business of Russia itself.”

        Parts of Ukraine were included in a region formerly known as “Little Russia,” while the main part of Russia was called “Great Russia.” To many Ukrainians, the term “Little Russia” is offensive and demeaning.
        Putin’s words are seen as a warning to the West not to meddle in Ukraine, a sovereign country that Russia aims to control.

        “These comments by Putin should be taken very seriously,” said Olexandr Paliy, a political analyst with the Institute of Foreign Policy at the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Diplomatic Academy, according to Time. “Russia is engaged in a propaganda war against Ukraine, designed to convince the West not to support Ukraine. Russia doesn’t understand cooperation with equals, only with subordinates.”

        Moscow is advancing on several fronts. On April 1, a $20 million film adaptation of a 15th-century adventure novel, Taras Bulba, was released in Russia. The film shows heroic Ukrainian Cossacks fighting for Russia against a Western enemy. The movie, made by Vladimir V. Bortko, was financed partially by the Russian government. In it, Bortko aimed to show “there is no separate Ukraine,” and “the Russian people are one,” according to remarks he made in an interview.
        Three days earlier, Ukraine had unveiled its own version of the film. But with a budget of under $500,000, it simply could not compete.

        Putin has stated before that he views Ukraine merely as part of Russia. According to Russia’s Kommersant newspaper, in April 2008, at a nato meeting in Bucharest, Putin told then-U.S. President George W. Bush: “You don’t understand, George, that Ukraine is not even a state. What is Ukraine? Part of its territories is Eastern Europe, but the greater part is a gift from us.”

        The Russians are trying to show the world, and the people of Ukraine, that Ukraine is theirs. At the same ceremony on Sunday, the Russian Orthodox Church called for Slavic unity. Putin also laid wreaths on the graves of Ivan Ilyin and Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian nationalist thinkers whom Putin is fond of quoting, as well as on the grave of Russian thinker Ivan Shmeleva.
        Last August, Putin aggressively staked his claim on Georgia—using tanks. Many worry that he could do the same to Ukraine.
        Putin has also shown that he can use energy as a weapon. Russia controls a large part of Europe’s natural gas supplies, and can and has used this as blackmail. Russia cut off supplies to Europe in the middle of last winter.
        When Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, at an EU-Russia summit on May 22, was asked if he could guarantee that this would not happen again, he replied, “Russia has given no assurances and will give none. What for?”
        Russia is being particularly belligerent as it feels threatened by the European Union’s Eastern Partnership program. The partnership, proposed by Poland and supported by Germany, aims to improve Europe’s relations with six former Soviet states—Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Russia does not like the idea.
        “What we don’t want is the Eastern Partnership to be turned into a partnership that is against Russia,” said Medvedev at the EU-Russia summit. “I’ll put it succinctly. We tried to convince ourselves [that the project is not dangerous], but in the end we couldn’t. What worries us is that in some countries, attempts are being made to exploit this structure as a partnership against Russia.”
        Russia and Germany are competing for influence in Eastern Europe. Both powers are turning to nationalism. Watch for the two nations to bicker over the area, then come to an arrangement over who gets to control what. For more information, see our article “Russia and Germany Fulfill Prophecy.” •

        Under putin’s watchful eye, hundred’s of journalists have been assassinated [the kremlin is killing the cream of the rooshan intelligentsia – writers, authors, poets, etc.], the kremlin controls the TV, media, publication of books, continues to promote their rewritten history and lies, etc., and now wants to make it a crime to dispute their rewritten history.

        The subliminal brainwashing that the USA and Ukraine are bad and Nazi, and everything wrong is the fault of the USA, but “mother roosha” invented Swiss cheese, lives on.

        Sincerely,
        LES

        PS Zhann, you sound like an intelligent person. Please do not allow the kremlin’s subliminal brainwashing propaganda to change you into their useful idiot, or worse yet, to turn you into their evil troll.

  3. I don’t think the Kremlin feels “fundamentally weak”, nor that The Other Russia is making much headway in Russian society. No; I think it’s this frequent idea in Russian history that any dissent, no matter how small or incapable of seriously threatening the powers that be, should be attacked. Just in case it manages, somehow, someday, to become more significant.

    All the signs point to these opposition organizations having no importance in the public debate and no influence in the power structures. No, I don’t think the Kremlin is acting on any rational fears. It’s more like paranoia or obsession; like those people who are so afraid of “germs” that they’ll clean their hands a hundred times every day.

  4. Paul Goble has an interesting post today on the difference between the British and Russian mindframe in a contrast between two polls. You all remember the notorious poll where Russians chose Stalin as third most important Russian “hero”. It is that cultural mindframe that keeps Russia totalitarian:

    http://windowoneurasia.blogspot.com/2009/05/window-on-eurasia-collective-memory-of.html

  5. “But Putin knows his approval rating is smoke and mirrors, so in fact it is quite necessary.”

    Are they smoke and mirrors in that the support does not exist or in the sense that it exists but is based on the propaganda that the regime feeds them?

    Maybe it doesn’t matter.

    I know there are good people in Russia because I read so many stories of them being abused by the nasty people in Russia. Are the nasty folk more numerous or just more powerful?

    Again, does it matter?

    This will get worse before it gets better. If it gets better. From Pakistan to the Arctic Circle; from Eastern Europe to East Asia, a massive zone of instability, poverty and chaos could erupt.

  6. It is very, very clear that “zhann” has no idea what he’s talking about.

    President Kuchma ruled Ukraine with an iron fist, under an oligarch, with tons of corruption. People were miserable.

    The police were notorious for pulling people over on any pretext, and demanding bribes.

    The media were given “temnyky” – theme sheets. Those were lists of what they could and could not discuss. In 2000, Georgiy Gongadze, co-founder of Ukrainian Pravda, was beheaded, based on the desires of Kuchma.

    That beheading brought people out into the streets in 2000, and almost brought down the Kuchma regime.

    When President Yushchenko ran for office during the end of 2004, the first rounds of the election were falsified, bringing people to the streets in the famous Orange Revolution.

    The Kuchma boys, Yanukovych included, had looked at Georgia, where a rigged election prior to the Rose Revolution had produced an 80% winning margin.

    In Ukraine, the Kuchma boys decided the woudn’t be “so greedy.”

    The people were definitely NOT happy, as shown by Yushchnko’s overwhelming victory in the Orange Revolution – after the election was finally free and fair.

    During that time, one of the things that got the ball rolling was a brave woman – an interpreter on TV for the deaf, who bravely signed “don’t believe them – they are lying about the election results.”

    Subsequently, on state TV, a brave female journalists, backed up by other journalists, openly announced that they would no longer follow the “theme lists” – they would be journalists.

    Yushchenko promised change – “all bandits to jail” – and voter turnout was extraordinarily high, well over 70%. (Contrast with 50% or less in the US.)

    Today, in contrast to rasha, Ukraine has freedom of the press, free and fair elections, freedom of speech, vigorous political discussion, and Ukraine is openly talking about – and starting to get rid of – corruption on a serious basis.

    Yushchenko has lost virtually all of his support (he had well over 70%) because he failed to do what he promised.

    People in Ukraine are, by far, smarter than people in rasha.

    In Ukraine, President Yushchenko failed to deliver on his “10 steps towards the people” program, and consequently has no chance of being re-elected president.

    In rasha, they keep “voting” for the same old KGB thugs.

  7. In Georgia, before the Rose Revolution, the old guard kremlinoids rigged the elections to win by an 80% margin.

    In Ukraine, the Kuchma boys looked at that, and did not want to be so obvious – so they “planned” to win the presidential election by a smaller margin.

    People in Ukraine are not stupid – they knew the election was rigged – leading to the Orange Revolution.

    Ukraine has gone through what every former sovok republic and satellite has gone through – crony commienism turning into crony capitalism, oligarchy with rampant corruption.

    But Ukraine has taken a different course – free and fair elections.

    Vigorous – and free and open – political debate.

    Contrast that with rasha – authoritarian, stalin-worshipping, putvedev worshipping sheeple.

    No debate, no political opposition.

    People in Ukraine are much, much smarter.

  8. As far as corruption in Ukraine “jumping dramatically” after the USA got involved –

    Give me a break.

    Corruption in the sovok union was not talked about – but it was large scale. There was an underground economy larger than the “official” economy. In order to survive, you had to steal at work – everyone knew it, and everyone did it, from top to bottom.

    The commie insiders were already as corrupt as it gets. And after the fall of the sovok union, they did their corruption all on their own.

    After the fall of the sovok union, corruption was indeed rampant. The commie insiders who no longer had to report to headquarters in Maskva suddenly became pashas, and they went bonkers with trips to Monaco, offshore accounts, yachts, jets, etc.

    Except, of course, that in rasha, people like the mayor of Maskva and his wife, and others, did everything to hide it – that’s one of the reasons the media was so fiercely controlled. And one of the reasons that there were fierce mafia-type wars against the general population – to keep things quiet.

    In Ukraine, Tymoshenko – and others – are fighting corruption.

    It’s come out into the open.

    Getting rid of RosUkrEnergo as a gas middleman was a huge step in the right direction.

    RUE is, of course, half-owned by Gazprom/Kremlin.

    Ukraine has made additional reforms, for example, in its central banking operations.

    True, that was in response to IMF prodding, but nevertheless…

    People in Ukraine are smarter than people in rasha.

    • Elmer, you really should lay off the CNN (or other mass Western media outlet), too much of it can make you go blind. I don’t even know where to begin …

      First, regarding RossUkrEnergo, the guy in charge is Firtash. This is a very close personal friend of Yushchenko, and is likely the most ridiculous company ever dreamed up by Yushchenko’s cronies. It likely has to kick back some of the stolen money to Russia, it would be strange otherwise. They steal so much money from the Ukrainian people that makes your head spin. How this is a sign of ‘fighting corruption’ is beyond me.

      Regarding Soviet corruption, the majority of corruption during soviet times was decided with a bottle of wine and a box of candies … not thousand dollar bribes. It is true that the soviet union was corrupt, but it doesn’t even compare to what goes on now in Ukraine/Russia/Georgia/(insert ex-soviet state, not sure about Baltic states, though).

      As for Ukraine fighting corruption … this is where it is obvious that you watch too much mass media. If you want to learn about what really goes on here, open up some Ukrainian sites and pay attention to what politicians have to say about one another … this will give you a taste of what goes on, and only a small taste. If you want to really know, come here for a few months and try to do business … it will blow your mind.

      Now, comparing Kuchma to Yushchenko … While there is no doubt that Kuchma was an extremely corrupt Russian backed dictator. However, here are some quick examples of Kuchma corruption vs Yushchenko … when I was pulled over for speeding during Kuchma’s reign, I would pay about $5 and go my own way. Now, anything less than $50 is an insult. During Kuchma, when I had to get paperwork done at any government office, the most I would pay was $50 … now, it is impossible to get by on $100, usually I am paying $300 and up. During Kuchma, he would take a lot of money from local businesses in the form of bribes, but he would keep them in business so that he could bleed them later. Yushchenko cares nothing about later, knowing well that he will not be there … money is taken Now, in very large sums, and very often. Businesses are collapsing everywhere because of this, the port in Odessa has virtually closed (the Chinese have almost all left, the Turks too). Whoever is feeding you the bull that someone here is ‘fighting corruption’ is obviously so far out of the loop that they couldn’t point to Ukraine on a map. Ukraine is notoriously the most corrupt of the ex-soviet states. I have personally given upwards of $20,000 for a signature on a form that I was in my full legal right to obtain. Before my very eyes, meeting with a local parliament member, I watched a young kid hand him $75,000 for a signature … no sure what it was for, but he bragged about it afterwards by making claims of “which car to buy next”. Tymoshenko is the worst of the bunch, this evil mistress controls the majority of the energy companies within the country, aside from RossUkrEnergo.

      Lastly, fair and free elections … give me a break! During the previous Parliament elections, local newspapers were all reporting how many dead people voted, how many handicapped voted that couldn’t even leave their house … and, again I personally witnessed the most interesting event. I was spending the day with a group of friends, and towards the end of the day they all went to vote. When we got there, several of them were turned back claiming that these people had already voted … we were all in shock. I was with them the entire day, knew very well that they had not voted. But, closer to the end of the day (we suspect) the people controlling the booths had orders to search for all people that didn’t vote and place votes for them.

      This is Ukraine … Ukraine is not just corrupt, Russia even laughs at Ukraine’s corruption. Trying to cross the Ukrainian border on anything but an airplane will give you nightmares if you do it often. I cross the border many times a year, traveling to Russia, Moldova, Transnestria and Poland … it always costs me about $100. I can go on and on about this for days … If you want to read a personal blog post about one of my experiences, take a look at Ukraine’s Rampant Corruption.

      The Orange Revolution was a joke and a lie. Nothing good came of it. At least Kuchma did something for the country … name 5 positive things that Yushchenko has done for the country? … name 2?

      • zhann, obviously you are a little behind the times.
        Corruption in Georgia is way down on post soviet times, let alone the corrupt horror that was the soviet union. Just ask transparency international, or the World Bank, or the IMF.
        Just try bribing an official in Georgia today.
        You will get a quick trip to jail 9 out of 10.
        I work in construction, and I can tell you know it is sqeaky clean these days.

        As for your retarded assertion that corruption in the soviet union involved “bottle of wine and a box of candies” sorry, but this is absolute BS.
        My father in law was one of the top production engineers in the Soviet Union during the late 70’s through to the fall of the USSR. He ran the largest furniture factory in the USSR, and his superiors in Moscow tried to have him murdered because he tried to stamp out bribery on his patch. His remit covered furniture production and also the construction of apartments for workers.
        They (his superiors) were losing out on millions.

        Contrary to what people think, there was a lot of money in the USSR, but it was mostly eaten up in bribes and corruption. Everyone got their cut all the way up to the top, and it was big money.
        Look at the senior party members with their huge fortunes, western cars and electronics, and imported food, while the common citizens qeued in breadlines.

        Now, I understand you are upset about having to do lawful things like pay taxes, and fines when you are speeding, but these things are normal in developed countries.

  9. ZHANN,

    It seems that you can afford to do business in Ukraine. So you are crying about the “fees”. I am glad that Ukrainians are making your kind pay. Obviously there was something wrong with your “bill of laden”, Your kind should pay, really not enough, for the suffering your kind has wrought. The fact that you continue to do business in Ukraine instead of in Roosha, because the tarriff there is much higher. You are finding “business” profitable, because you are not entirely above board yourself. I can see from the obvious Roosiyski Chauvinist distortion in your blog. Your colorful interpretations of events, spin with no reputable sources to back you. No you can not have it both ways. Unleashing a Kremlin Mafia KGB substrate into a country will produce these kind of events from the Siloviky. Purging the country of your ilk and other “carpet baggers” will continue. It may be slow coming but will happen long before it does in Roosha. Admitting faults in other countries does not buy you credibility. You, ZHANN are the reason for borders and the strict control over them. Never have you mentioned anything about your “enterprises” strange…

    • Wait … WHAT!?!?!? … my kind? Are you insane? How much have you invested in Ukraine? Problem with my bill of lading? Do you even know what that is? I am the reason for strict control of the borders??? What are you on?

  10. Look, zhann, I’m very familiar with corruption in Ukraine.

    And the fact that the price has gone up.

    And the fact that Firtash and his boys are at the root of a lot of it. And the fact that Yushchenko supported Firtash’s corruption.

    And the fact that rashan oligarchs joined in with Ukrainian oligarchs on a lot of corruption.

    And the fact that Firtash paid “bonuses” to people in the President’s secretariat.

    And gave plane rides to Yushchenko and his family.

    If you are talking about the recent elections in Ternopil – yep, there were some complaints. Mainly by the losers.

    After the Orange Revolution and Yushchenko –

    – free and fair elections, by and large

    – freedom of speech

    – freedom of the press

    – prosecution of corruption (example – Zvarych, the judge; getting rid of RUE; example – Susanna Stannik, the Supreme Court justice that Yushchenko tried to get rid of when her mother mysteriously got $40 million in property)

    You are right, there is still lots of corruption, but as I said, steps are being taken to start correcting that.

    – Yushchenko has been instrumental in raising Ukrainian national identity and consciousness

    – Yushchenko has been instrumental in acknowledging and implementing public awareness of the true facts behind the Holodomor

    Ukraine today is a far better place than it was 5 years ago, before Yushchenko.

    Under Kuchma, people in political opposition were killed. Vyacheslav Chornovil is one such example. There are many others, including, as I mentioned, Georgiy Gongadze and journalists in general.

    Дякую Тобі Боже, що я не москаль.

    Thank you, God, that I am not a moskal.

    • So, knowing what you know, how can you say that corruption is getting better? Where is the improvement?

      Regarding freedom of press, a very close friend of mine runs 6 radio stations in Odessa. There are several taboo items that are never to be discussed on air, corruption being one of them. Freedom of the press may have eased, but it is far from free. When the mayor’s son (I will try to find a link) killed a pedestrian, the media was only allowed to report on the event, those that had an opinion on the matter (kid went free of course, then moved to London) suffered severe ‘fines’. Freedom of speech follows the same path … while people aren’t being killed, the SBU quickly go after people that cross the social line … another thing I know about first hand.

      Maybe we are discussing a different social level, all my business associates are in shock at the corruption with Yushchenko. It is virtually impossible to have a white business these days. If you go white, the bribes will not just eat up all profits, but you will go deep into debt.

      As for Yushchenko’s “national identity” push, this is a joke. He is commemorating Nazi SS members, one of which (can’t remember the name at this moment) was responsible for tens of thousands of Jewish deaths, and was awarded the Nazi’s highest honor during WWII.

      Please, can you give me one solid example of something Yushchenko fixed during his presidency? All he has done, as far as I’m concerned, is held back every good idea that Tymoshenko has had (yeah, strange, but Tymoshenko actually had a few good ideas that didn’t only line the pockets of her close friends).

      As far as I’m concerned, the only chance Ukraine has at ending this vicious cycle of corruption is to go en mass to the polls, and make it a rule NOT to vote for any of the big three … let them vote for anyone they want, but not the big 3. Maybe, just maybe, someone will get into office that might have the balls to do something right in this country.

      • “As for Yushchenko’s “national identity” push, this is a joke. He is commemorating Nazi SS members, one of which (can’t remember the name at this moment) was responsible for tens of thousands of Jewish deaths, and was awarded the Nazi’s highest honor during WWII. ”

        Maybe tell us when you remember.

        I’ll make it easier for you:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Cross#Recipients_of_the_Knight.27s_Cross_with_Oak_Leaves.2C_Swords.2C_and_Diamonds

        • Roman Shukhevych
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Shukhevych

          … as for Bandera, thats a slightly more controversial individual, but I have yet to meet a Jew that accepts the Ukrainian position on him.

          … now its your turn, can you name something that Yushchenko has done to benefit its country?

          • zhann
            Your provided link states:

            Roman Shukhevych escaped from arrest by the Gestapo.

            From September 1942 till February 1943 Natalia Shukhevych, wife of the UPA Head Commander Roman Shukhevych, sheltered in her house a jewish girl Irene Reichenberg, a neighbor’s daughter (other transcription: Reisinberg, Reitenberg), who was just 7 years old at that time.[22] [23] [24] [25]

            After arrest of Natalia Shukhevych in 1943 by Gestapo, Roman Shukhevych succeeded to take a girl to the orphan shelter at the Ukrainian greek-catholic Convent of Vasilianky in the village of Phylypove, near the township of Kulykiv in 30 kilometres from Lviv, where Irene remained till the end of the World War II surviving German occupation and Holocaust.[30] [31] In 1956 Irene sent a letter with her picture to the prioress of the monastery.

            Reichenberg family is mentioned in the list of nazi’s victims at Yad Vashem memorial in Israel.

            Please go back to play your vidio games and drool over your kremlin sponsored TV disinformation and propaganda. YOUR BRAINWASHING IS SO HORRIFIC THAT YOU ARE TOO IGNORANT TO SEE THE TRUTH WHEN IT STARES YOU IN THE EYES.

            I see that you are trying to incite the jews against Ukrainians also.

            The West German courts examined the documents in detail. The examiners came to the conclusion that “most of the members of the Nachtigall Battalion, although they knew about the terrible killings done by the NKVD, (the NKVD had murdered over 5000 prisoners in jails before the German occupation) and among the killed were members of the families of a number of the soldiers (Shukhevych’s younger brother was one of those killed), held to exemplary discipline”[6].

            232 witnesses testified that the allegations against the Nachtigall Battalion were false and the West German Court absolved them of blame and punishment[6].

            The allegations against Oberlander and the Nachtigall Battalion were inspired by the KGB in an attempt to compromise the Adenauer government in West Germany. Teodor Oberlander had in 1953 become Minister of Victims of War, deported and repatriated Germans in the Adenauer government.

            At the same time Soviet sources, in order to cover up their participation in the murder of thousands of Ukrainian and Polish civilians in Lviv, also let out a rumor that Oberlander had ordered the murder of Stepan Bandera[6] which was disproved when Bandera’s Soviet assassin, Bohdan Stashynsky, defected to the West and confessed.

            World opinion: An international commission was set up at The Hague in the Netherlands in 1959 to carry out independent investigations. The members were four former anti-Hitler activists, Norwegian lawyer Hans Cappelen, former Danish foreign minister and president of the Danish parliament Ole Bjørn Kraft, Dutch socialist Karel van Staal, Belgian law professor Flor Peeters, and Swiss jurist and member of parliament Kurt Scoch. Following its interrogation of a number of Ukrainian witnesses between November 1959 and March 1960, the commission concluded: “After four months of inquiries and the evaluation of 232 statements by witnesses from all circles involved, it can be established that the accusations against the Battalion Nachtigall and against the then Lieutenant and currently Federal Minister Oberländer have no foundation in fact.[8]”

            On December 6, 2007, the Chairman of the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem Yosef Lapid stated in an interview with the radio network Deutsche Welle that the Yad Vashem Memorial has a dossier from both German and Soviet sources showing that the Group Nachtigall took part in the pogroms in Lviv in the Summer of 1941. “Until now, the Ukrainian side has so far not asked us for these documents”, said Lapid and invited both Ukrainian historians and President Yushchenko to study them together. He added that part of these documents has already been used in the writing of the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust in 1990.[23]

            On March 2 2008 Yad Vashem museum informed the Ukrainian delegation that it held no dossier on Shukhevich, and was not in possession of any documents that could incriminate him in the Lviv Massacres.

            Moreover Yad Vashem stated that Tomislav Lapid, former justice minister and one of Yad Vashem’s trustees who originally made the allegation, was not am employee of the museum, and wasn’t authorized to make such claims on museum’s behalf.[33]

            http://video.bigmir.net/show/48564

            ALSO!!

            But the Nazis urged the Ukrainians to retract their declaration while the Hungarians issued an ultimatum: put down your weapons and hand over the country – or else. But the Ukrainians had no intention of giving up without a fight.

            When the Nazi consul suggested that Ukrainians forgo the fight for independence, the commander of Karpatska Sich Mykhailo Kolodzinsky told him: “A Ukrainian nationalist’s lexicon does not include the word capitulate… a stronger foe can beat us in battle, but never force us to kneel.”

            http://www.homin.ca/news_view.php?category=top&news=4883&lang=en

            PS Tell the DCKT that you failed again.

            • I’m still wondering what Zhann meant by “the Nazi’s highest honor during WWII”, because I don’t see Shukhevych’s name on the list of recipients of the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds (and obviously he was not neither Rudel nor Goring too).

              • It is likely that I am wrong about the Iron Cross, this is something I heard rather than read, and I heard it quite some time back so my memory may be off as well. Since it is likely that I am wrong, I apologize for the misinformation.

                However, what about your information on Yushchenko? Or are you ready to retract that statement too?

                • So you meant simply an Iron Cross? I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but about 5 million(!) regular Iron Crosses 2nd and 1st class and over 7,000 Knight’s Crosses of the Iron Cross were awarded during WWII.

          • Hi zhann,

            Russia and Ukraine Battle Over Their Shared History

            Yushchenko has been a thorn in the Kremlin’s side ever since he came to power in 2005, after popular protests known as the Orange Revolution forced the rerun of a rigged election won by the Russia-backed candidate. Deeply unpopular in Russian political circles for his pro-West policies, Yushchenko has also attracted scorn for his honoring of Ukrainian national war heroes who fought against Russia and for drawing international attention to Holodomor, the man-made famine planned in Moscow that killed several million Ukrainians in 1932 and ’33.

            Yushchenko has touched a raw nerve among Russian leaders ……………..

            But Yushchenko’s moves to bring attention to the crimes of the past have been well received by many in Ukraine, whose citizens suffered widespread political repression under the Soviet regime. “People need to know the history of their own country, not the distorted Soviet view,” says Roman Krutsyk, president of the Kiev-based NGO Memorial, which documents Soviet political repressions. “Yushchenko’s biggest achievement is that he brought up the question of our history.” ……………………..

            Moscow is particularly irked by Yushchenko’s recognition of leaders of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, or UPA, which fought against Soviet — as well as Nazi and Polish — forces in World War II. Members of the group are frequently denounced as “fascists” and “Nazi collaborators” in the Russian media, but Kulchytsky says the reality is more complex and that they “never had an agreement with Hitler.”…………………………….

            [READ THE ENTIRE AT THIS LINK:]

            http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1899832,00.html

            There are many other extremely positive things that President Yushchenko did for Ukraine, but I forgot, you do not have the time to read the other comments on this page. You only have time to assimilate the kremlin disinformation from your rooshan TV stations. Then you spread the kremlin’s lies and propaganda to other useful idiots!

        • This was predictable. In my prior commet:

          “Russia is engaged in a propaganda war against Ukraine, designed to convince the West not to support Ukraine. Russia doesn’t understand cooperation with equals, only with subordinates.”

          They keep lying and fishing for more useful idiots to brainwash and try to convince the world that Ukraine is Nazi and they will “save” the world by invading Ukraine and killing more Ukrainians.

          Ostarbeiter Slave Labor
          Germany faced a crisis at the end of 1941 because after it had mobilized its massive armies, a shortage of workers developed in Germany to support the war industry. Hermann Goering at first thought “the best thing would be to kill all men in Ukraine over fifteen years of age” but then realized working them to death was more useful for the German Reich. He decided to bring in people from Ukraine, called Ostarbeiter (east workers), to work in German war industries. A recruiting campaign in Ukraine was carried out in January 1942 by Fritz Sauckel for workers to go to Germany. “On January 28th the first special train will leave for Germany with hot meals in Kiev, Zdolbunov and Peremyshl” offered an announcement. The first train was full on January 22.

          “Germany calls you! Go to Beautiful Germany! 100,000 Ukrainians are already working in free Germany What about you?” ran a Kiev newspaper ad on March 3, 1942. But in the end word got back of the slave conditions for Ukrainians in Germany and it failed to attract sufficient volunteers so forced recruitment and forced labor were needed. They were forced to wear a badge OST (East) on their clothes. Because the Germans considered the Ukrainians Untermensch (sub-humans) they were “inferior humans” who had to be kicked, beaten, terrorized and killed at their least transgression. Starvation rations and primitive accomodation were given to these unfortunate Ukrainian slaves in Germany. Most probably died in Allied bombing raids. Only a few were able to get released and return to Ukraine to tell their story. One girl chopped off her fingers in a machine to get back home.

    • Hi elmer,

      To add to your prior comment:

      Another extremely important thing that happened under President Yushchenko’s watch is the payment for children born in Ukraine. After my great-great-grandnephew was born in Ukraine a few years ago, his father told me that his wife was ecstatic that she was able to afford to buy a new refrigerator to store the baby’s milk, with part of the payment. They had lived without a refrigerator prior to that.

  11. It looks like even Belarus are completely sick of Russian neo-fascism.

    “MINSK (Reuters) — Belarus’s president declared an end on May 29 to “begging” to Russia and told his government to ignore Moscow’s decision to shelve a $500 million loan and turn elsewhere to find credits.

    Alyaksandr Lukashenka made his comments a day after Russia’s finance minister said the funds were no longer on offer as its smaller Western neighbor — linked by a “union treaty” since the 1990s — could be insolvent by the end of the year.

    Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin’s remarks appeared to reflect growing frustration with Belarus, whose loyalty is now caught in a struggle for influence between Russia and the European Union.

    “If it doesn’t work with Russia, there is no need to bow down, no need to whimper and weep. We will have to try our luck in another part of the planet,” the official BelTA news agency quoted Lukashenka as telling a gathering of economic officials.

    “Let me say this loud and clear. No begging or beseeching. If they haven’t got the $500 million they promised us long ago, there is no need to go asking for it.”

    Lukashenka said Kudrin’s comments had “sown panic” throughout his country of 10 million. And he rejected his pessimistic view of the Belarusian economy.

    “If they have such a wonderful economy, where does their 10 percent decline in GDP come from?” BelTA quoted him as saying. “Our economy may be different, but we are expecting growth of 1.5 percent this year.”

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, speaking after talks between the two governments, softened some of Kudrin’s criticism. But the Belarusian leader said he believed the two had coordinated their positions.

    Credits For Ex-Soviet Allies

    Russia, with good reserves following a decade of economic growth, has promised nearly $5 billion of rescue credits to ex-Soviet allies, including Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia.

    Belarus received the first tranche of $1 billion last year followed by another $500 million this year. Kudrin said further financing was halted as Moscow was unhappy with Lukashenka’s reliance on “administrative mechanisms” in economic policy.

    Russia’s ambassador to Belarus said the future of the loan depended on Minsk’s talks with the International Monetary Fund, which has yet to approve the second $400 million tranche of a $2.4 billion loan program.

    Strains in relations between Russia and Belarus became acute after a 2007 row over energy supplies and prices.

    Russia has also been alarmed by Belarus’s rapprochement with the European Union, which the Kremlin fears could threaten its interests and give Lukashenka new bargaining power with Moscow.

    Accused by the West of flouting human rights, Lukashenka has taken steps to deflect EU criticism by releasing the last of what Western countries called political prisoners.

    The EU suspended a travel ban on him and Belarus was invited to join the bloc’s “Eastern Partnership” to bring former Soviet states apart from Russia closer to the EU. Moscow views the scheme with considerable suspicion.

    In his comments, Lukashenka dismissed any notion linking the loan to Belarus’s failure to recognise two Russian-backed separatist regions in Georgia — Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

    And he urged Belarusian Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky to start looking for alternative markets for Belarusian goods.

    “Surely, [he] need no longer take his ministers down such a beaten path,” BelTA quoted him as saying. “Why keep going to Russia, where we simply get kicked around?” ”

    http://www.rferl.org/content/Belarus_Leader_Says_Will_Not_Beg_Russia_For_Loans/1742716.html

  12. By the way, zhann, my sources are in Ukraine.

    And they are not limited only to Ukrainian media.

    One of the best sources is Ukrainian Pravda – Українська Правда – which was co-founded by Georgiy Gongadze.

    Дякую Тобі Боже, що я не москаль.

  13. Part of the problem at the Ukrainian-Poland border is also the Schengen zone.

    Look, zhann, crooked customs inspectors and traffic cops are a problem in Ukraine – which is why, a couple of years ago, Yushchenko fired all of them – the ДАІшники.

    But Yushchenko has openly stated that corruption is killing the country.

    You are not helping at all by claiming to pay bribes.

    Дякую Тобі Боже, що я не москаль.

  14. The reason that the Kremlin is bad for business in the neighborhood.

    • Wow, that video is pure PR poison for the Russian military. 9 years of Putin and where has that cretin spread the oil wealth?

      It makes me want to send personal donations to make sure our military guys/gals get a Starbucks in every barracks, 400 thread count cotton sheets, bigger screen tv’s, pay raises, whatever, all of the good stuff they truly deserve as professionals that keep my family safe against the world’s predators.

      Americans would never tolerate our military reaching the Russian point of degradation.

      It was reported that Russian troops were stealing bathroom fixtures in Georgia. I don’t doubt it.

      Nothing has changed since WWII when Stalin’s underequiped forces, poor kids from the collectives, embarrassed themselves as they moved west into Europe stealing and raping as they advanced.

      Russians will forever behave with a culture of poverty attitude until they kill off the Kremlin thugs that rob them in broad daylight. Maybe someday they will focus their anger in the right direction.

      • There was a lot of film of Russian soldiers looting the following:

        1. Schools, its amazing how many desks, toilets, and school computers you can fit on a tank.

        2. Hospitals, from operating theatre equipment, to the bedpans.

        3. Military bases, looting the bunks and toilet fittings, and even the shower cubicles.

        4. Private homes, I saw a Russian tank loaded with washing machines, couches, tv’s etc.

        5. They even were blowing safes in the banks.

        Russians are scum

  15. Les is absolutely right when he refers to Kremlin brainwashing.

    It’s what the Kremlin, and what commie insiders, counted on, and still count on today.

    They keep repeating the same old rhetoric.

    And Les is right about Pootler and the Kremlin being livid about Yushchenko – because Yushchenko stood up for Ukraine.

    George – the video exemplifies the typical rooskie attitude – they would rather curse the darkness than light a candle.

    Instead of making things better for themselves, they curse anyone and everyone else.

    And let dictators like Pootler stomp them on the head.

    All in the name of “glorious oily orthodox moozer rasha.”

    Like the old rooskie saying goes: “may my neighbor’s barn burn down, and may his livestock die.”

  16. Gary Marshall

    Hello Zhann,

    Putin is not limiting debate or opposition to aid Russians. He is doing it to maintain his power. As anyone can see, he cares nothing for the average Russian.

    Likewise for Saddam and Iraqis.

    Gary Marshall

  17. Ok LES … this is starting to get old … the link I provided was just a link to the guy, it wasn’t meant as a means to proving my point … I see that when discussing matters with you I need to be extremely clear, otherwise you tend to miss the obvious. Next, unfortunately I don’t have nearly as much time to sit in front of the computer as you do, so I am physically unable to read through articles to point out links to counter what you wrote above … however, since you obviously have plenty of time, do a quick google search on “Shukhevych Israel Nazi” and you will find a nice spread between the two opinions. Which is right? Obviously, you will only believe what you want to believe and discard anything that says otherwise … standard propaganda teaching … exactly what you accuse Russia of. Hypocritical?

    As for Shukhevych, I am a Jew living in Odessa, so I obviously associate with many other Jews. I remember when the push for Bandera and Shukhevych started, and I remember specifically the Jewish response to this … lets just say that it wasn’t very positive. To this day, many Jews in Ukraine are still being held back business wise, specifically because they are Jews (anti-semitism is still big in many regions of Ukraine, especially western … http://www.european-forum-on-antisemitism.org/documents/speech-by-eduard-dolinsky/) and my information on these specific matters was heard, not read, so I may have remembered something wrong (iron cross?) or may have been informed incorrectly. If that is the case, I apologize. However, the fact that Shukhevych (and to a lesser extent Bandera) are widely viewed by Jews as anti-semites, but more specifically nazi sympathizers, is beyond question … at least in the eyes of local Jews and Israelis. Propaganda? … who knows, there is propaganda on both sides and people always tend to believe what they want. Being a Jew, I will side with the Jews on this. You being a Russia hater, you will only believe the propagands which encourages your hate. Hypocritical?

    Now, LES, you have a bad habit of attacking character, rather than arguing a point. I was trying to ignore you as much as possible because I knew this was an inevitability, but since you persist you leave me with little choice. Lets dissect some of what you wrote, shall we?

    – Regarding Majority of Iraqis happier under Saddam … you wrote …
    YOU SPOUT THE DISINFORMATION AND YOU DEMAND THAT THIS DISINFORMATION IS NOT OPEN TO DISPUTE??? THE KURDS MUST HAVE BEEN EXTREMELY HAPPY TO BE USED AS GUNIE PIGS FOR GERM AND CHEMICAL WARFARE????????
    … in case you are unaware, the Kurds are far from a majority in Iraq. Your statement isn’t just baseless, but it just proves your ignorance of the subject. If you were going to point to an article claiming otherwise, I would at least understand, but I could just as easily point to an article in favor. If you have a problem with simple definitions for words like ‘majority’, I suggest you keep a dictionary handy by your computer. It will make your life, and everyone elses, a bit easier.

    – Regarding Russian’s recognition that each nation must have a somewhat unique government to suit the needs of its people you wrote:
    ROOSHA NOT ONLY RECOGNIZED THE GENOCIDE OF THE KURDS, THE KREMLIN’S POLICY, PRACTICE, AND PROCUDURE HAS BEEN TO ORCHESTRATE AND EXICUTE GENOCIDE.
    … What does this have to do with anything? When arguing, you counterpoint the premise, you don’t simply spit filth. If you can’t argue, and can only spit filth, sit on the sidelines and let the grownups talk.

    – The following statement isn’t just shocking, it blows my mind that anyone would believe such nonsense … how do you repeatedly put it? … Brainwashing?
    *******************In rewriting their books, it appears that the kremlin removed the words Ukraine and Ukrainian from their dictionary and replaced them with the word orangestani. In spite of the kremlin’s many decades of disinformation and propaganda, the world realizes that Ukraine is a separate and distinct culture, language, and nationality. When will the kremlin stop their incessant whining and realize that they failed “TO EXTERMINATE THE UKRAINIANS”?**************
    … but to allow oneself to be so brainwashed as to believe such absolute garbage shows such a weak character that arguing with such a character isn’t simply a waste of time, it is absolutely demeaning (as I said, I tried to avoid this)

    And, I can’t leave out your most brilliant piece of logic in reference to Kasparov’s inability to lead Russia …
    KASPAROV IS A GRAND MASTER IN CHESS! MUST I ASSUME THAT YOU ARE BETTER?
    … Did you come up with that yourself or did your mommy help you? So, in your opinion, being a chess master gives one the ability to do anything, right? Maybe Kasparov is setting his sights too low? Again, before making baseless statements, why not speak to some real Russians about Kasparov? He is widely viewed as a nut, and has very little support by the population. While Putin’s methods towards Kasparov are unfair, they do more to hurt Putin than Kasparov.

    LES, if you want to argue with me then argue … I don’t accept character attacks or baseless statements as arguments. Your response to Shukevych was good, but that was the only response worth acknowledging. If you, or anyone else for that matter, attack my character, I will simply ignore you. If you persist, however, I will eventually respond. While I find insulting people demeaning, I must admit that it is fun at times.

    Think before you speak, and stay off the CNN.

    • ZHANN, more madness from the Putinoid Scum. You play on the massacre that my own mother had to burry. It took her 2 weeks! Mostly Students. I can see zhann, that you cannot be confused with facts, that “you don’t have time to read”. Secondly you are too stupid to be just a “Jew”, as you claim, since you are so overtly offensive you shame them, and really are trying to get Ukrainians and Jews at each other. It won’t work, as the Jews here are wise than you. But read on, it will challenge you.
      Truth has come out of a hostile setting.

      The West German courts examined the documents in detail. The examiners came to the conclusion that “most of the members of the Nachtigall Battalion, although they knew about the terrible killings done by the NKVD, (the NKVD had murdered over 5000 prisoners in jails before the German occupation) and among the killed were members of the families of a number of the soldiers (Shukhevych’s younger brother was one of those killed), held to exemplary discipline”. 232 witnesses testified that the allegations against the Nachtigall Battalion were false and the West German Court absolved them of blame and punishment.
      Visit to Yad Vashem to find that their work was not entirely thorough…
      February 28, 2008 a government delegation from Ukraine lead by the head of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory I. Yukhnovsky and the adviser to the head of the Ukrainian Security Services V. Viatrovych visited Yad vashem to closer acquaint themselves with the Shukhevych archive. They were told by Chaim Gertner that no such a separate archive existed and that the documents were scattered throughout the complex

      Two documents were finally made available. One of 7 pages and another 18.
      The first was a copy of the interrogation minutes of Luka Pavlyshyn (who actually never served in the Nachtigall Battalion) by the KGB. This document is well known and was the basis for a propaganda brochure published in 1960 to incriminate Oberlander.

      The second was the German translation of a deposition by one Hryhory Melnyk who had been trained by the KGB on November 13 1959 and was given instructions to lie in court during the proceedings against Oberlander.

      A press conference was held on March 4, 2008 at which these documents were presented along with the criticism of the Lapid announcement and the manner in which it was carried out by Joseph Lapina to discredit Roman Shukhevych, and all that was uncovered were distorted facts and false testimony which go against judicial principles and logic.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controversy_regarding_the_Nachtigall_Battalion

    • “… in case you are unaware, the Kurds are far from a majority in Iraq. Your statement isn’t just baseless, but it just proves your ignorance of the subject. ”

      Yeah, the Shia Arabs are the majority. They were opressed too, at times very opressed (“massacred at random by thousands” opressed). Especially the Marsh Arabs, whose thousands-year old culture and way of life was almost entirely destroyed together with their wetlands (an enormous man-made ecological disaster) in the retaliation for Iraqi Hezbollah insurgency.

      Opressed by the Sunni Arab minority, yes.

    • Oh, and you’re a Jew? Only a few dozen Iraqi Jews remained in Iraq under Saddam (Baghdad was once one of the biggest Jewish communities in the world). And the PLO supported Saddam even when the entire Arab world was against him.

  18. Dear Robert,

    Thank you for exposing one of the many lies of Zhann, that he wrote on this page, in a nutshell.

    He must be a propagandist and follower of stalin, because stalin said, “Print is the sharpest and the strongest weapon of our party.”

    I would like to add:

    Iraq’s Quiet Transformation

    Charles Krauthammer

    Friday, February 13, 2009

    WASHINGTON — Preoccupied as it was poring through Tom Daschle’s tax returns, Washington hardly noticed a near-miracle abroad. Iraq held provincial elections. There was no Election Day violence. Security was handled by Iraqi forces with little U.S. involvement. A fabulous bazaar of 14,400 candidates representing 400 parties participated, yielding results highly favorable to both Iraq and the United States.
    Iraq moved away from religious sectarianism toward more secular nationalism.

    “All the parties that had the words ‘Islamic’ or ‘Arab’ in their names lost,” noted Middle East expert Amir Taheri. “By contrast, all those that had the words ‘Iraq’ or ‘Iraqi’ gained.”

    Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki went from leader of a small Islamic party to leader of the “State of the Law Party,” campaigning on security and secular nationalism. He won a smashing victory. His chief rival, a more sectarian and pro-Iranian Shiite religious party, was devastated. Another major Islamic party, the pro-Iranian Sadr faction, went from 11 percent of the vote to 3 percent, losing badly in its stronghold of Baghdad. The Islamic Fadhila party that had dominated Basra was almost wiped out.

    The once-dominant Sunni party affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and the erstwhile insurgency was badly set back. New grass-roots tribal (“Awakening”) and secular Sunni leaders emerged.

    All this barely pierced the consciousness of official Washington. After all, it fundamentally contradicts the general establishment/media narrative of Iraq as “fiasco.”

    One leading conservative thinker had concluded as early as 2004 that democracy in Iraq was “a childish fantasy.” Another sneered that the 2005 election that brought Maliki to power was “not an election but a census” — meaning people voted robotically according to their ethnicity and religious identity. The implication being that these primitives have no conception of democracy, and that trying to build one there is a fool’s errand.
    What was lacking in all this condescension is what the critics so pride themselves in having — namely, context. What did they expect in the first elections after 30 years of totalitarian rule that destroyed civil society and systematically annihilated any independent or indigenous leadership? The only communal or social ties remaining after Saddam Hussein were those of ethnicity and sect.

    But in the intervening years, while the critics washed their hands of Iraq, it began developing the sinews of civil society: a vibrant free press, a plethora of parties, the habits of negotiation and coalition-building. Reflecting these new realities, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani this time purposely and publicly backed no party, strongly signaling a return — contra Iran — to the Iraqi tradition of secular governance.

    The big strategic winner here is the United States. The big loser is Iran. The parties Tehran backed are in retreat. The prime minister who staked his career on a strategic cooperation agreement with the United States emerged victorious. Moreover, this realignment from enemy state to emerging democratic ally, unlike Egypt’s flip from Soviet to U.S. ally in the 1970s, is not the work of a single autocrat (like Anwar Sadat), but a reflection of national opinion expressed in a democratic election.
    This is not to say that these astonishing gains are irreversible. There loom three possible threats: (a) a coup from a rising and relatively clean military disgusted with the corruption of civilian politicians — the familiar post-colonial pattern of the past half-century; (b) a strongman emerging from a democratic system (Maliki?) and then subverting it, following the Russian and Venezuelan models; or (c) the collapse of the current system because of a premature U.S. withdrawal that leads to a collapse of security.
    Averting the first two is the job of Iraqis. Averting the third is the job of the U.S. Which is why President Obama’s reaction to these remarkable elections, a perfunctory statement noting that they “should continue the process of Iraqis taking responsibility for their future,” was shockingly detached and ungenerous.
    When you become president of the United States you inherit its history, even the parts you would have done differently. Obama might argue that American sacrifices in Iraq were not worth what we achieved. But for the purposes of current and future policy, that is entirely moot. Despite Obama’s opposition, America went on to create a small miracle in the heart of the Arab Middle East. President Obama is now the custodian of that miracle. It is his duty as leader of the nation that gave birth to this fledgling democracy to ensure that he does nothing to undermine it.

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