Daily Archives: July 14, 2009

July 17, 2009 — Contents


(1)  Essel: Welcome back, Mr. Churchill!

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Ryzhkov on his Knees

(3)  EDITORIAL:  Kudrin makes a Funny

(4)  Nemtsov in Newsweek!

(5)  Essel on Russia’s “Best and Brightest”

Essel: Great Britain is back in Churchill Mode

Our Politicians Can Do Some Things Right!

by Dave Essel

HoCsm[1]I never thought I’d be saying this but the UK House of Commons Defence Committee has just published a totally exemplary report on Russia, stating what should underlie the UK’s attitude to that country.

It’s a long time since I have been able to react with pleasure and pride to something done by my country. This report is sensible, literate, clear and organised, and calls a spade a spade. The committee questioned all the right sorts of people, applied collective intelligence to the information gathered, and came up with conclusions that I do not think that any of us on LR would disagree with.

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EDITORIAL: Ryzhkov on his Knees


Ryzhkov on his Knees

It’s not often that we feel pity for Russians.  We didn’t when Anna Politkovskaya got shot, because we figured it was better for her not to have to watch her country come undone before her eyes, and we knew she probably saw it as an honor to give her life for her country.  In fact, the only time we can remember feeling pity was when Oleg Kozlovsky got drafted into the army, something nobody could possibly have forseen occuring, a new low in the history of national government.  The specter of dedovshchina hanging over the head of that brave and brilliant, thoughtful young academic was heart-rending.

But now we feel it again, feel it in spades, for poor ex-parliamentarian Vladimir Ryzhkov, who had the pleasure of meeting U.S. President Barack Obama last week and wrote about it the Moscow Times. We can’t imagine any more compelling proof of just how badly Obama botched his Russia sojourn than the pathetic effort of Mr. Ryzhkov to sing Obama’s praises.  Reading it, Obama shoud be ashamed.  Ryzhkov, of course, should want to crawl under a rock.

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EDITORIAL: Kudrin Makes a Funny


Kudrin Makes a Funny

Oops! Kudrin makes a funny.

Oops! Kudrin makes a funny.

One thing surely nobody can deny about Putin’s Russia is that it’s always good for a laugh (if you can put out of mind momentarily the tortuous suffering of so many innocent children that results from the insane incompetence of the Kremlin these days).

A great example was the statement by Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin last week that Russia would increase its energy efficiency by 40% within the next decade.  We can’t remember when we’ve heard something come out of Russia that sounded quite so monumentally ridiculous.

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Nemtsov in Newsweek!

Boris Nemtsov is blitzkrieging the American media! First he had a piece in the Wall Street Journal, and now he has one in Newsweek.  If there is one good thing that resulted from Obama’s trip to Moscow, it is raising this brilliant man’s profile.  He was also interviewed recently by CNN’s Fareed Zhaharia.  Go Boris, go!

Barack Obama’s schedule during his visit to Moscow was symbolic: after he dedicated the first day to official talks with President Dmitry Medvedev, he spent much of the second day in meetings with representatives of civil-society organizations, the business community, and leaders of the political opposition. With this gesture, the U.S. president sent a clear message that he does not consider Russia to be limited to the ruling circle around Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and that he intends to “reset” relations not just with the Kremlin, but also with Russian society. This dual-track approach involves discussing urgent practical matters (such as securing a transit route to Afghanistan or agreeing on a joint position on North Korea) with the government of the day, while simultaneously engaging in a broader dialogue on values with the Russian people.

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Essel on Russia’s Best and Brightest

Where the Best Minds Gather

Dave Essel

One of our moron troll vistors commented in response to one of my translations recently that “American T.V. is the basic reason why less than 10 per cent of your nation reads books daily” – of course with no source to back up his claim. This, of course, was silly nonsense, but I wondered if something could be done to counter the concept. (Be warned, the text after the jump contains profanity as translated from the Russian web.)

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