WEDNESDAY JULY 1 CONTENTS
(1) Another Original LR Translation: Medvedev as Goebbels
(2) EDITORIAL: Russia, Obama and the Internet
(3) EDITORIAL: Russia Legalizes Barbarism
(4) EDITORIAL: One Year for LR on WordPress!
(5) Putin’s Russia brings us “Menocide”
NOTE: You can listen to a panel of Russia experts including the heroic Andrei Piontkovsky discussing Barack Obama’s upcoming trip to Moscow as part of a Hudson Institute Panel here
NOTE: You can read a transcript (in English!) of Vladimir Putin’s meeting with the Pikalyovo protesters here.
Enough to Make Goebbels Green With Envy
26 June 2009
Translated by Dave Essel
On 24 June, President Medvedev issued an Executive Order entitled On Russia-Wide Compulsory Total-Access Television and Radio Channels. The aim of this Order is to ensure that certain TV and radio channels are available in every household. That great lover of the ‘power vertical’ Adolf Hitler had the idea down pat ages ago: “In the future Germany, we will have wired radios, that’s evident. No sensible government can allow its people’s minds to be poisoned”. [AP – quoted in Oleg Plenkov, The Third Reich]. Hitler may have failed to carry this out but we won’t!
Russia, Obama and the Internet
For years now, Russia has been weaponizing the Internet using a two-track approach. First, Russia has been seeking to excercise totalitarian control over its domestic Internet by generating content and harassing independent publishers and ISPs, even going so far as to prosecute bloggers and commenters. Ultimately, once the Runet is brought to heel, the proud KGB spies who rule the Kremlin plans to use it to further brainwash the lemming-like population just as it is doing today with the TV networks and major newspapers that it seized years ago. Second, Russia has been developing its capacity to attack the Internet resources of foreign countries. Russia has actually waged open “cyber war” against Estonia and Georgia when those two former Soviet states dared to defy the Kremlin’s demands.
As if all this weren’t enough, Russia’s extreme poverty (the average worker earns less than $3/hour while the cost of Interet access is comparable to that in the West) serves as yet one more barrier to the population’s use of this valuble resource. As we reported in our last issue, many Russians have no chance to get near the Internet, even in large cities, and this means that the claim that the Internet’s relative freedom can offset the total lack of objectivity in print and television media is utter nonsense.
Now, the Obama administratration has created a new cabinet-level position devoted to Internet security, and it is pressing for dramatically higher levels of worldwide response to cyber terrorism. Putin’s Russia, of course, stands in the way — just as it has stood in the way as the world has sought to demand justice and democracy in places like Iran and North Korea.
Russia Legalizes Barbarism
A few weeks ago, we reported on how Russian courts have ruled that it is illegal for women to work in various jobs that men are genetically better suited for.
More recently, we noted the European Union’s conclusion that corruption is so widespread in the Russian court system that justice is impossible to obtain.
But none of that prepared us for the revelation provided by Khodorkovsky attorney Robert Amsterdam while translating a report about his client’s second trial, now underway, from the pages of Novaya Gazeta.
How We’re Doing
Our first year on WordPress ends with a bang
This month marks our one-year anniversary here on the WordPress server. We take this opportunity to offer a little review of our progress in our new home, where by and large we are very happy.
Last month, as the graph above shows, we set another new record for most visits to the blog in a month, with 117,480 in total. In seven of the past eleven months, we had likewise set new records for monthly visitation, breaking the 100,000 threshold for the first time two months ago. In less than one year here on WordPress, our monthly visitation has doubled. We are on pace to become the first English-language Russia politics blog ever to post 1,000,000 visits on a public counter by the end of this month.
Paul Goble reports that Vladimir Putin is wiping out Russia’s male population far more effectively than Adolf Hitler ever dreamed of doing:
Extremely high mortality rates among Russian men in prime child-bearing ages, far larger than those in other developed countries and largely the result of alcohol consumption and drug abuse, are undercutting not only Moscow’s efforts to solve the country’s demographic problems by pro-natalist policies but its hopes to modernize the Russian economy.