Monthly Archives: July 2009

August 2, 2009 — Contents

SUNDAY AUGUST 2 CONTENTS

(1)  Putin and Beslan

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Putin the Man, the Myth, the Monster

(3)  Spawn of Stalin sues Novaya Gazeta 

(4)  “Fortunately, China is not a Russia!”

(5)  Russia’s Double-Digit Recession

(6)  Essel on Russian Crisis Metrics

NOTE:  Grigory Pasko interviews Boris Nemtsov on Robert Amsterdam’s blog.

NOTE:  For those who speak Russian, this YouTube video mocking Vladimir Putin’s performance in Pikalyovo, prepared by Live Journal blogger Oleg Kozyrev, may be amusing.

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Putin and Beslan

beslan-91Commenter “Robert” directs our attention to a new report on the Beslan atrocity by John B. Dunlop of Stanford University. 

This research is a clarion call to the Western democracies, a warning they must immediately heed, most of all U.S. President Barack Obama.  His benighted and misguided attitude towards Russia must be reversed immediately.

Here is the report’s conclusion, namely that Russian “prime minister” Vladmir Putin is a brazen liar and a war criminal:

On 1 September 2004, Putin, who had been vacationing on the Black Sea at the resort town of Sochi, returned by plane to Moscow after learning of the hostage-taking incident. Immediately upon his arrival at the airport in Moscow, he held a meeting with the head of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), Rashid Nurgaliev, with the prosecutor general Vladimir Ustinov, with the director of the FSB, Nikolai Patrushev, and with the first deputy director of the FSB and commander of the Russian border-guards, Vladimir Pronichev.  The presence of General Pronichev at this meeting was particularly significant. It was he who had overseen the storming of a theater building at Dubrovka in Moscow in October 2002 in which 174 hostages had perished from the effects of a special gas employed by the FSB.

Following this meeting with his power ministers, Putin, at about noon on the first, placed a call on a special phone to the president of North Ossetia, Aleksandr Dzasokhov. Putin gave Dzasokhov “an [oral] command to hand over the organization of the counter-terrorist operation to the organs of the FSB.”  This account, it should be noted, is in full accord with what Putin told Le Monde in the afore-mentioned interview published in the 1 June 2008 issue of the French newspaper. Putin manifestly had no intention of negotiating with the terrorists and outsourced the decision concerning how and when to storm the school to the FSB and, in particular, to the FSB spetsnaz (special forces) under the command of General Aleksandr Tikhonov. Putin then disappeared from public view until the morning of 4 September when the storming of the school had been completed.

Following the deaths of the 317 hostages (including 186 children), Putin arrived in Beslan at 5:00 a.m. on 4 September. Joined by North Ossetian president Dzasokhov, he went to the district clinical hospital where the two leaders visited all of the rooms containing victims of the assault. Having remained in the hospital for half an hour, Putin then attended a session of the operational headquarters for the liberation of the hostages located in the town administration building.

Looking directly into a camera of state television’s Channel 1, Putin then declared: “We examined all possible variants and did not ourselves plan an action using force. Events developed very quickly and unexpectedly, and the personnel of the special forces manifested particular courage.” This statement was, as we know now, untrue. Then, apparently without visiting the site of the ruined school, Putin returned by plane to Moscow.

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EDITORIAL: Putin the Man, the Myth, the Monster

EDITORIAL

Putin the Man, the Myth, the Monster

In February of 2006, Roman Kupchinsky of Radio Free Europe wrote an article about about Vladimir Putin’s involvement with the St. Petersburg Mining Instiute, which Kupchisnky called “one of the most prestigious academic institutions in Russia, which traces its history back to 1773.”  He noted that “in 1997 Putin defended his doctoral dissertation examining how natural resources can contribute to regional economies and strategic planning” and then, two years later, wrote an article for the Institute’s Journal in which he continued his dissertation analysis and “posited that hydrocarbons were key to Russia’s development and the restoration of its former power. He argued that the most effective way to exploit this resource was through state regulation of the fuel sector, and by creating large and vertically integrated companies that would work in partnership with the state.”

Oops.  One month later, thanks to the efforts of the left-wing think tank Brookings Institution, the world learned that:

  • The unknown person (or persons) who actually wrote the paper had not really “written” it either, but rather simply copied large sections of it from American textbooks
  • The degree for which the thesis had been submitted was not doctoral but subdoctoral, so Putin was handed a degree he had not even theoretically, much less actually, earned

Ouch.  Given all that, it’s hardly likely that Putin had written the Journal article, either. 

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Spawn of Stalin Sues Novaya Gazeta

Translator’s Note: Neo-Nazi Russia is putting a toe in the water to test the political mood of the country. In a supremely emetic move, it has been announced that . . .

Stalin’s Grandson Sues “Novaya Gazeta”

Grani.ru

30 July 2009

Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel


40005Ekho Moskvy radio station has just broadcast the news that Stalin’s grandson, Yevgenii Dzhugashvili, has had a writ served on Novaya Gazeta, complaining about an article entitled “Beria Was the Guilty Party” published in that paper on 22 April this year. The writ is against the newspaper itself and the author of the article Anatoli Yablokov. The writ demands that the paper publish a retraction stating that Yablokov’s remarks about Stalin are baseless, untrue, and defamatory of Stalin’s honour and reputation. In particular, the plaintiff is concerned with the words: “Stalin and the Chekists are bound by great bloodshed and the worst of crimes, above all against their own people”. The plaintiff is demanding moral damages of 10 milllion roubles and also that a retraction be published. Yevgenii Dzhugashvili’s case has been accepted and will be heard by Moscow’s Basmanny District Court.

[This of course is the court whose name has become a byword for justice perverted by instructions from on high to its judges (or which simply has the most prejudiced and stupid judges in the world). The world laughs and weeps as Russia degradates.]

Sunday Book Review: “Fortunately, China is not a Russia”

Chen Weidong, the Executive VP of COSL, China’s leading oilfield services company, writing on the Energy Tribune:

“The Advantage of Petroleum in Russia” (US edition was published as “From Soviet to Putin and Back: The Dominance of Energy in Today’s Russia,” Energy Tribune Publishers) is another powerful book from my friend Michael Economides. We had discussed the possibility of publishing this book in Chinese last May right before the publication of the book in the U.S. Under the coordination of the Graduate School of China Social Sciences Academy and Huaxia Publishing Co., the Chinese version of this book has finally become reality.

For most of the last 100 years, since the Nobel family created the Russian petroleum industry in 1873, crude oil and natural gas have been Russia’s “pillar of power, the forever foundation of the state, and the lifeline of Russia.” In this book, Professor Economides and his co-author, Russia and former Soviet Union specialist Donna D’Aleo, with their broad knowledge of petroleum and geopolitics, have showed us a panorama of life and death, success and failure of Russian petroleum industry with rich history, clear logic, and abundant events.

Russia and China not only have very deep historical roots, they also have the advantage of being complementary strategic superpowers, especially in the energy and petroleum fields. I have been thoroughly entranced by the stories in the book about the petroleum elites, cruel wars and political struggles made very lively by the authors’ narrative and their humorous and philosophical comments. After finishing the reading, I whispered to myself: “fortunately China is not a Russia.” Herewith, a few more thoughts.

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Russia’s Double-Digit Recession

shearing The always brilliant Edward Hugh of Russia Economy Watch reports:

According to the latest report from the World Bank collapsing industrial production, rising unemployment and ongoing capital flight will reduce Russia’s gross domestic product by 7.5 percent this year and restrain “intraregional trade flows and transfers,”. The Bank also highlighted that “Remittances to the broader CIS region are expected to decline for the first time in a decade, by 25 percent”.

Neil Shearing of Capital Economics forecasts a contraction of 10% this year, zero growth in 2010 and fears that Russia may be facing a kind of “lost decade”, since it may well not recover the 2008 level of output till 2014, and there are still clear downside risks attaced even to this estimate.

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Essel on Russian Crisis metrics

Crisis Metrics

by Dave Essel

Russia may be trying to ostrich away the crisis and claim that its crisis is just part and parcel of the world economic crisis. But metrics are everywhere and crop up in the oddest of places.

Here is a metric from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry that shows that Russia is suffering worst by far – naturally.

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