SPECIAL EXTRA: Obama Speaks to Novaya Gazeta

“I agree with President Medvedev when he said that ‘freedom is better than the absence of freedom’. I see no reason why strengthening democracy, human rights and the rule of law cannot be included as part of our ‘reset’ in relations. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

— U.S. President Barack Obama to the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta in an interview (Russian version) the paper has published just as he opens talks with the Kremlin

Other Russia is reporting that Obama intends to meet with opposition leaders Boris Nemtsov and Garry Kasparov (who is crowing with in-your-face jubiliation).  The combination of the interview and the meeting make one very bitter pill for Vladimir Putin to swallow.  For the first time since we started blogging about Russia, we are excited about the country’s future in a positive way. Go, Obama, go!


47 responses to “SPECIAL EXTRA: Obama Speaks to Novaya Gazeta

  1. Obama also said he applauded President Dmitry Medvedev’s efforts to reform Russia’s creaky judicial system…..

    What efforts? Little Puppet Boy hasn’t done one damn thing but throw out a few scripted liberal lines, designed to make it look like there is a liberal faction within the siloviki ranks, out. There isn’t. It was a few crumbs of hope thrown to the liberal opposition class who aren’t gullible enough at this point to swallow it. Obama needs to talk to them.

    The fact that the Khodorkovsky show trial grinds on is all one needs to know about judicial reform in Russia. Little Puppet Boy hasn’t taken any risks and denounced that atrocity.

  2. OK. Let’s set out farther — “strengthening democracy, human rights and the rule of law” — blah blah blah blah blah
    It will not do for Medvedev/Putin. They´ve been down this road so many times, they ain´t no fools and can read the signs.

  3. RTS, are you so sure you can still refer to Medvedev/Putin? Obama doesn’t, he is aggressively trying to split them.

    Did George Bush give an interview to Novaya Gazeta? We must have missed it.

    You say they’re not fools, but we look at their economic results and their total repudiation by the civilized world and say you were totally wrong. They are fools, epic in scale, and now they are being directly challenged by the world’s most powerful country far more directly than George Bush ever did.

  4. La Russophobe

    Stay on line with me. We’ll wait for events to unfold when we could have more to say. Things should start to get interesting right about now.

  5. RTS is russian scum and will be executed one day by the muslim mujahideen in the russian satanic empire.By the way your weak president Obama is a mouthpiece,he will do nothing.Today the georgian interior minister gave an interview to the “New Times”,he said,that the russians are massively preparing for a new invasion this month.So stop talking about Obama,he will not help Georgia. The single help for Georgia can come from the chechen and other caucasian mujahideen,inshallah. The USA will not help you,because John McCain is not president. Even i as a muslim deeply regret this fact.McCain was the single american politician so far,who has openly condemned the russian genocide in Chechnya.Obama is a mouthpiece,nothing else

  6. Obama can stay in Russia as a permanent guest for all I care

    let his hope 9.5%

    and change 5.8% to 9.5%

    Work their magic in russia

  7. Predictions for Russian American Summit

    Obama will apologize for US’s role in the Cold War.

    Obama will apologize for America’s role in the arms race proliferation.

    Obama will not apologize for boycotting the Moscow Olympics games.

    Obama will pledge his support for the Sochi Games.

    Obama will agree to refuse to extend NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia.

    Obama will promise not “to meddle” in Russia – Georgia Conflict.

    Obama will agree to work with Russia on the Iranian situation i.e. more talks, no progress.

    Obama will agree to work with Russia on the North Korean situation i.e. more talks, no progress.

    As a gesture of goodwill, Obama will scrap the missile defense projects in Czech and Poland.

    Obama will ask for assurances about the gas pipeline. Russia will concede in the summer and then go back on their word in the winter.

    Obama will agree to reduce US nukes if the Russians will. But Obama will reduce nukes even if the Russians don’t. A trust but don’t bother to verify approach. Reducing nukes is the right thing to do.

    Michelle Obama will dazzle Moscow with her “fashion”.

    Lyzhkov will crash a summit party. He can’t help himself.

    • I hear you, Kolchak, this whole Obama show will end with no gain for human rights or advancing western values. Obama will be gamed by the Russians. But, who hasn’t gamed him from NK to the ousted pro-Chavez constitution trashing ex-President thug in Honduras so far.

      He doesn’t even understand the American Constitution.

      The end of the Khodorkovsky show trial is the litmus test for me that Putin and his Baby Faced Puppet gets the message on human rights.

      It won’t happen.

      • Unfortunately I have to agree.
        The annointed one of the Democratic party is following the Carter path at high speed, and we all know how that turned out.

        • Yes, to: Akhmad, Kolchak, Penny, Andrew,…and all who hold a low opinion of B. Obama, as I do: I would recommend, that the Obamanator retire from office, now, (while he still has his army of glassy-eyed automaton know-nothing devotees) and starts his own version of “Habitats for Humanity”-
          which has been about the only useful thing that peanut-brained Jimmy Carter has ever accomplished. (And I heard recently, that some of his organization’s houses, are of such poor quality, that they are falling down prematurely!).
          But, with La Russophobe, I am also hoping-against-hope, that SOMEHOW Obama does stand up to the KGB Kremlin gang, and that he doesn’t sell America out or our other allies, and those
          peoples who are being wrongfully oppressed by the Kremlin.
          But then, I believe in miracles. Some label such faith as ‘pie-in-the-sky’. Let’s hope, Obama pleasantly surprises us, rather than to validate our low opinion of him. With both my fingers crossed, my legs crossed, and ….whistling Dixie……

          • > and those
            peoples who are being wrongfully oppressed by the Kremlin.

            So you think there are peoples who are bing rightfully oppressed by the Kremlin? Well, I always though so! :-)

            • To Eugene, Of course, there ARE common real criminals, inside any country, who deserve ANY government’s punishments. But you know that. You are just a nit-picker, aren’t you Yevgeny? But you, apparently, are a Kremlin mouthpiece and part of their ruling-class gang, so as long as they pay you, I suppose you will defend anything they do, no?

  8. Oh, I forgot. Alla Pugacheva will sing Happy Birthday, Mr. President.

  9. Kolchak

    Might I ask you to be more specific on your choice? Follow Akhmad, he seems to be more on track transforming failed candidates into mujahideens fighting Russians in Chechnya and Georgia. On my part I can hardly imagine lamed by them bad Russians in Vietnam John McCain with mujahideen bandana on.


    You are a crazy Israeli “muslim”.
    Just tell me the name and address of your feeding traugh and I’ll tell you what kinda “muslim” you are.

  10. I doubt Obama is going to do much apologizing. He has savvy Russia hands around him and has enough Chicago pol in him to know he can’t allow himself to be bullied a la Kennedy-Khrushchev. The theme will be about welcoming a strong Russia as a partner and the importance of the responsible use of power. He will also talk about respecting the self-determination of neighbor states. Not much apologizing, but there will be some material on the shared sacrifices of America and the USSR/Russian people in joining together to defeat Fascism. As in Cairo, he can avoid praising the regime and speak directly to the Russian people.

    The simple fact Obama is meeting with people obviously not on the Kremlin’s recommended list of so-called opposition figures is a positive sign. Nor has he fallen into the trap of meeting only with west-friendly liberals and allowing the Kremlin to paint them as wanting to kiss up to Washington and Obama as only interested in American interests in Russia.

    To do this was a proposal by Kasparov, actually, who suggested it was essential for Obama to show support for the Russian opposition in general and not just the usual human rights groups and the Kremlin’s pet “opposition” people like Zhirinovsky, Zyuganov, and, sadly, Ryzhkov.

    The attempt to split Medvedev and Putin is a tricky game, since Putin is happy to have Medvedev as a scapegoat now that things are collapsing after the decade of looting and skyrocketing oil prices. Nemtsov has promoted this plan of trying to divide them all the time and I respect his instincts. He feels that if Obama can help empower Medvedev, Medvedev might actually start to act like he’s in charge. He won’t liberalize either, but the friction and possible schism between the factions might bring down the regime. At that point, Medvedev (or someone else) might have the chance to save his own skin by pulling a Yeltsin and suddenly embracing the people.

    A fantasy, yes, but you have to have dreams to achieve them…

    • To Mig, Wow! what a dreamer you are!
      But, I….hope you are right or even half-right, in your trusting words about Obama. Perhaps, those handlers of his, will prevail, and give him backbone? I DO hope so!!!
      In the meantime, I am still whistling Dixie…….
      And I have ALL of my body members crossed, for good-luck, so that I look like a human pretzel!

  11. The only reason Obama is meeting with the opposition is tell them that the American Government will not support them in their aspirations of a free and democratic Russia. They would be better off following lock step behind Medvedev and Putin. If Obama called the Iranian Mullahs the legitimate rulers of Iran, do you think he is going to give support to Kasparov. He’s too politically savvy for this.

  12. “I am also hoping-against-hope, that SOMEHOW Obama does stand up to the KGB Kremlin gang.”

    Dream on. Obama sold out last week to the Mullahs. Now he’ll sell out to the KGB. Or better yet, he’ll write another letter to the UN.

  13. Why are people still believing in Hope and Change?

    What you need to do is go back to his campaign promises? Do you remember how Obama and even McCain talked about small business and how small business was the driver of the American economy and the engine that created jobs. Yet, Obama’s stimulus package and other spending has allocated only $600 million for small business. Hamas got more money. Even ACORN. WAKE UP. Obama is a liar. You can’t believe a word he says. No one is holding him accountable. You want to believe in him. Now is time to take a stiff drink, and realize that you’ve been duped, and move on. 2010 elections and 2012 are real chances we have to dismantle the Leftist machine in this country and return our nation back to our principles.

  14. http://www.watchdog.cz/?show=000000-000024-000007-000002&lang=1

    Emir of the Caucasus Emirate gives new interview. He is the single man,who is actually fighting the satanic russian empire and therefore he is the biggest hero on the planet at the moment

    • The Russian army and secret services will send him into the arms of hawras just like they did it to his predecessors – Dudayev, Maskhadov, Khattab, Basayev…

    • Russian is not satanic empire. Satanism promotes individualism and is against slave mentality. Russia is opposite, it’s country of slaves, serving to Kremlin. This country, called “Russia” is Mongolian legacy. The real Russia is Kiev’s Russia a.k.a Ukraine.

  15. Let’s get a bit more realistic and specific here.

    How will Putvedev prop up a failing government and a failing economic “system”?

    From US corporations!

    This is a story from Reuters (excerpt):


    Obama’s Russia visit to bring over $1.5 billion in deals

    MOSCOW, July 6 (Reuters) – U.S. corporate giants John Deere, PepsiCo and Boeing will announce more than $1.5 billion worth of deals in Russia during President Barack Obama’s visit, part of an effort to revive waning trade and investment between the two nations.

    Agricultural machinery maker John Deere will invest $500 million in the next six years in Russia, while soft drink giant PepsiCo will boost investment to $4 billion from $3 billion in the next three years.

    Aircraft maker Boeing plans to announce a joint venture with the world’s largest titanium producer, Russia’s VSMPO-Avisma, on Tuesday, industry sources told Reuters on Monday without giving further details.

    U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will attend a Kremlin summit along with Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and hold a dinner meeting with American business leaders.

    • I don’t understand how ANY foreign company, corporation or small business would EVER want to risk doing business in Russia, with Russia, after the Yukos and BP affairs. Are these corporate leaders that stupid or just that greedy for some slice of mythical russian pie? Makes me want to physically kick some of these CEOs in the seat of their pants. Doesn’t anyone have morals or values anymore besides the price of gold or oil?

      • “A capitalist would sell you the rope on which you will hang him.” © V.I. Lenin. :-)))

        • Lenin? The man who said that all workers are equal, but then opened special kitchens for party members while millions starved?

          • Lenin is the man who put together the Russian state when it had fallen apart during the February Revolution and shrank to the borders of the 15th century Muscovyю :-(

            • What, you mean when he crushed the aspirations of the Ukrainians, Georgians, Azeri’s, Chechens, and pretty all the other ethnic groups opressed by Russia (with the obvious exceptions of Poland & Finland) who tried to get their own national independance?

              Really Eugene, you are a very unplesant Imperialist.

              • Quite a lot of Ukrainians, Jews, Germans, Chechens, Georgians, etc. prospered in the Russian Empire/the USSR; they did not feel themselves “oppressed” a little bit. It is only incapable people and marginals who thought that they would do better in a “small, but their own” state who became beneficiaries of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Could an obscure Carpathian beekeper imagine that he would become a “president” married to a female CIA agent? :-)

                • And many more went to the Gulags Eugene.

                  Considering that the referendums on independance were won by massive margins in the baltic republics, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijhan, and so on, and were supported by genuine popular movements, I suggest your argument is as full of the usual substance as all your other postings.

                  If the majority of the populations of the aforementioned republics wanted independance from Russia, then obviously they felt opressed by Russian imperialist scum such as yourself.

                  There are very good reasons the Russians are loathed in the republics of the former USSR, and you combine most of these unfortunate traits in one person.

                  • > If the majority of the populations of the aforementioned republics

                    Hitler also was elected Chancellor by majority of votes. :-(

                    > the Russians are loathed in the republics of the former USSR

                    The Russians are not euros to be loved by everyone.

                    • No, wrong again Eugene.
                      Hitler was a leader of the largest party in the German parliament, but was unable to secure a majority (he had 43.9% of the vote) who was appointed as chancellor after forming a coalition with the DNVP.


                      As usual your knowledge of history is pretty bad.
                      Though we have come to expect such stupidity from you.

                      It is interesting to note the parrallels between Hitlers rise to power, and that of Putin.
                      Especially the destruction/corruption of the justice system, the reducing of opposition parties (and even allied parties) to show pieces by outright supression or subversion of those parties in exchange for “guarantees” of their survival.

                      And of course both are fascists.

                • Eugene, you ignorant fool,

                  You must stop reading your daily supplements to the soviet encyclopedia, because it only boosts your idiotic statements.

                  Also, President Yushchenko is not from the Carpathian mountains, but from North Eastern Ukraine.

                  Viktor Andriyovych Yushchenko was born on February 23, 1954 in Khoruzhivka, Sumy Oblast, Ukrainian SSR, USSR, into a family of teachers.

                  His father, Andriy Andriyovych Yushchenko (1919-1992), fought in the Second World War, was captured by German forces and imprisoned as a POW in a series of concentration camps in Poland and Germany, including Auschwitz-Birkenau.

                  He survived the ordeal, and after returning home, taught English at a local school. Viktor’s mother, Varvara Tymofiyovna Yushchenko (1918-2005), taught physics and mathematics at the same school.

                  • > His father, Andriy Andriyovych Yushchenko (1919-1992) was captured by German forces and imprisoned as a POW in a series of concentration camps

                    According to Yushchenko’s, brother, it was in Auschwitz where his father had developed a taste for good coffee. :-) This makes us conclude that he was a kapo there. :-(

                    • Your definition of “us” = Eugene, you, yourself, the soviet encyclopedia, and all of the rest of the useful idiots on this planet that believe your kremlin disinformation!

                • Russians are so stupid that when they occupy a country, send half of the population to concentrationcamps, try to extinguish their culture and replace it by Russian language and culture, send them through a huge famine and so on, they can’t understand why people are not happy to play their servants.

  16. Eugene,you dirty human scum,the mujahideen will send you into hell for your comment,believe me. Pro-russian terrorist rabble like you will forever burn in the eternal hellfire,inshallah.

  17. “I think this is a single biggest inhibitor to investment by U.S. companies, their concern about the rule of law.”

    I bet Obama is using Stimulus money to guarantee US investment. Taxpayer funds will be used as insurance. The corporations take no risk and stand to gain huge profits. Business as usual.

  18. The University of Maryland survey found 75 percent of Russians believed the United States abused its greater power and only two percent had “a lot of confidence” Obama would do the right thing in world affairs.

    Propaganda works! Eugene.

  19. by the way,Eugene,you dirty rabble and scum,the unable russians were not able to kill anyone of the chechen leaders in combat.Maskhadov and Sadulayev were killed with shots from behind after they were lured into alleged peace negotiations,while Basayev died in an accidental explosion of an explosive-staffed truck.You scum should shut up your mouth,hell is waiting for you rat

  20. More Random Thoughts on Obama’s Russian Summit.

    “I would like to see America meddle less in other countries,” said Valentina Titova, a 60-year-old retired economist strolling not far from the Kremlin.

    “I would like to see Russia stop trying to take over other countries and get out of “phony countries” that it set up.”

    Also, what kind of economist was Titova? Was she a Milton Friedman free market kind of economist? No, she was a Marxist. She may That’s right I said it. A Lenin loving Marxist. She may still be a Marxist. She is probably on her way to North Korea next weak for a little R and R. Like her idiotic opinion freaking matters.

    As Obama told a Russian-language news channel in the days before the summit: “We want to build relations where we deal as equals.”

    Obama loves this phrase. America is now equal to Honduras, to Cuba, to Nicaragua, and Venezuela and Iran. We’re all equals. All equal in the rule of law, in justice, in wealth redistribution.

    Does Obama have a clue that he might be the leader of the Free World? You might want to start acting the part in front of dictators.

  21. What A ‘Reset’ Can’t Fix

    By David Ignatius
    Sunday, July 5, 2009

    MOSCOW — The Obama administration has talked about a “reset” in Russian-American relations. But a Russian analyst shrugs when he’s asked about the term. “What happens when you press the reset button on a computer?” he muses. “It goes dark, and then after a while the same screen comes back again.”


  22. “What happens when you press the reset button on a computer?” he muses. “It goes dark, and then after a while the same screen comes back again.”

    That’s because this Russian Analyst does not have an X-box.

  23. Russia’s problems aren’t about Obama. He can’t help Russians any more than he can help Iran. Not by talking tough nor by blowing kisses. What he can do, which may eventually have an impact, is set consistent policy so the US has some credibility as a leader in world affairs both on a moral and strategic level.

    The hypocrisy of every US administration of the last 20 years is the main reason why Russians (and just about everyone else) is unhappy with the US, or worse. Propaganda helps, but the USSR had that, too, and Soviets still didn’t view the US as negatively as now.

    So help by staying out of the way. Help by not providing the Kremlin regime with democratic credentials everyone, including every Russian except for Markov, knows it doesn’t deserve. Doing otherwise just makes the US look ridiculous. As Murrow said, “to be believable we must be credible and to be credible we must be truthful.”

    Simply being truthful about the Putin regime will be a significant step for the US. They can still do business, still work out treaties, etc. And they should. But none of this buddy-buddy nonsense. Obama was pretty good on this at the press conference today. His statements on missile defense and Georgia didn’t give an inch.

    And if Medvedev is supposed to be in charge he sure as heck didn’t sound like it. He was vague bordering on incoherent, as if he was spending most of his time thinking about what he’d been told he could say and what he couldn’t…

  24. Mig

    OK. Obama was taugh and made them Russians scary. When do we expect the Russian withdrawl from Georgia. Next week or the week after?

  25. July 7 (Bloomberg) — U.S. President Barack Obama lauded Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for his service to Russia, continuing a three-day push to overcome the animosities of the George W. Bush era.

    “I am aware of not only the extraordinary work you have done on behalf of the Russian people in your previous role as prime minister — as president — but in your current role as prime minister,” Obama told Putin after more than an hour of talks at the premier’s residence near Moscow.


    Anymore evidence needed that Obama is an idiot.

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