Daily Archives: June 20, 2009

June 22, 2009 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  The Russian Market back in Freefall

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Russia’s Potemkin Skies

(3)  EDITORIAL:  Forgetting Russia

(4)  Just when you think Russia can’t get weirder . . .

(5)  Petty, Destructive Russia

NOTE:  The U.S. Ambassador to Russia is blogging in Russian on Live Journal.

EDITORIAL: The Russian Market back in Freefall


The Russian Market back in Freefall

The Russian RTS stock index

The Russian RTS stock index

Last Thursday by 5 pm Moscow time the dollar-denominated RTS stock index had lost nearly 4% of its value and fallen back below the critical 1,000-point psychological barrier which it had broken back above at the end of May. The market hadn’t seen 1,000 since October 2008.  The decline put the RTS index down almost 15% for the month of June, and the MICEX ruble-denominated index was down even more for the month, almost 17%, and itself was flirting with crashing through the 1,000-point barrier. 

Russian “president” Dima Medvedev was humiliated as the world learned while he was attending a BRIC summit the dollar=denominated bonds were vigorously out-performing the bonds of Brazil, Russia, India and China. Financial analysts were mocking Medvedev’s goofy statements about Russia’s ruble becoming an international reserve currency: “It’s not up to politicians to determine which currency will be the world reserve currency,” said Lutz Karpowitz, a currency strategist at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “In the end the market decides it.”  In fact, they were suggesting that Russia is the black sheep of the BRIC group itself and doesn’t belong there.

The reason for all this Russia failure and humiliation was quite simple.

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EDITORIAL: Flying Russia’s Potemkin Skies


Flying Russia’s Potemkin Skies

At the Paris Air Show last week, Russia’s Sukhoi  aircraft manufacturing concern was able to secure only a pathetic total of three orders for its new “Superjet-100” model, upon which the company has pinned all its future hopes.  Looking below the surface, we see that the whole business was nothing but a pathetic charade, a classic Russian Potemkin village carried out to paper over the fact that there is, in the words of aeronautics experts “nothing new” about Russia’s plane.  In fact, there were no legitimate offers at all for the Russian crate.  Given Russia’s horrific record of air disasters, that’s hardly surprising.

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EDITORIAL: Forgetting Russia


Forgetting Russia

Last week, the Russians were complaining that the Allied nations had forgotten to talk about Russia during their D-Day commemorations earlier this month, which Russia was not even invited to attend.

We agree with the Russians:  Their behavior in World War II should not have been forgotten. It was so loathsome, vile and contemptible that it must be made to live in infamy right along with the cowardly Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.

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Just when you think Russia can’t possibly get any weirder . . .


The New York Times reports:

The killing was as baffling as it was vile.

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Petty, Destructive Russia

A New York Times editorial brutally entitled “Small Minds in the Kremlin” (one of the world’s leading newspapers calling the rulers of Russia idiots — ouch!):

In a depressing sequel to its petty and destructive war against Georgia last summer, Russia has now cast a petty and destructive veto in the United Nations Security Council, compelling the abrupt withdrawal of 130 badly needed international military monitors from Georgia’s secessionist region of Abkhazia.

It was petty because Russia’s larger interest lies in calming, not stirring up, secessionist ambitions in the Caucasus, a violently fractured part of the world that includes other restive regions like Chechnya. And it was destructive because whatever hopes the Russian-backed Abkhazian separatists might still retain for a semblance of international legitimacy vanishes with the withdrawal of the United Nations mission.

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