Daily Archives: August 7, 2009

August 9, 2009 — Contents

SUNDAY AUGUST 9 CONTENTS

(1)  EDITORIAL:  Sergei Karaganov, Neo-Soviet Cockroach

(2)  Russia’s Bleak Winter Prospects

(3)  Russia’s KGB and Islamic Terror

(4)  Saakashvili Speaks

(5)  Vladimir Putin:  A Decade of Failure

(6)  The Sunday Funnies

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EDITORIAL: Sergei Karaganov, Neo-Soviet Cockroach

EDITORIAL

Sergei Karaganov, Neo-Soviet Cockroach

We know, you think we're kidding. But we're not. This is really him! We swear!

We know, you think we're kidding. But we're not. This is really him! We swear!

Writing in the Moscow Times last week Sergei Karaganov,  chairman of the presidium of the Russian Council on Foreign and Defense Policy and dean of the School of International Economics and Foreign Affairs of the Higher School of Economics, claimed that the new cold war is all the West’s fault.

That’s right:  Russia bears no blame whatsoever for electing a proud KGB spy president, barbarically torturing Chechnya, murdering dissidents, wiping out free media, crushing opposition political parties and eviscerating federalism.  It’s all our fault.

It’s Russia’s version of the “reset,” showing Barack Obama exactly how Russia feels about his outstretched hand. His essay was, of course, full of shameless, cowardly, neo-Soviet lies and reads as if it was intended to be read by a clan of apes.

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The Coming Winter is Hopelessly Bleak for Russia

Owen Matthews, reporting for Newsweek:

With both the price of oil and the Moscow Stock Exchange having roughly doubled in value over the past six months, Russia’s leaders are downright bullish. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has refused to make deep cuts in government spending, choosing instead to rely on $200 billion of saved up oil money. He recently told banks to increase lending and lower rates in order to signal the end of the crisis.Don’t be fooled: Russia’s still reeling from the commodities crash, and things are poised to get worse before they get better. Putin’s oil fund will be “practically exhausted” by the end of 2010, says Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin. By the Russian government’s own estimate, the economy will shrink by up to 8.5 percent in 2009. Worse, many Russian businesses appear to be all but insolvent. They face a $200 billion mountain of debt, much of which comes due this fall. With Russia’s indebted businesses expected to net a mere $70 billion in profits this year, that leaves a potential $130 billion private-sector shortfall. Putin has tried to help by capping interest rates charged to private borrowers, but that means the pricing of risky loans has become artificially reduced. Overleveraged banks and corporations aren’t just a Russian phenomenon, but no other economy is as dangerously dependent on the boom-and-bust cycles of the world’s energy markets. Turns out Russia’s recovery isn’t nearly as tough as Putin’s talk.

Russia’s KGB and Islamic Terror

DEBKA reports:

Western intelligence sources in the Middle East have disclosed to DEBKAfile that a special unit of the Russian Federal Security Service – FSB, commissioned by Hizballah’s special security apparatus earlier this year, was responsible for the massive discovery of alleged Israel spy rings in Lebanon in recent months with the help of super-efficient detection systems.

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Saakashvili Speaks

Georgian president Mikheil Saaskashvili, writing in the Washington Post:

On the night of Aug. 7, 2008, Russia’s 58th Army crossed over Georgia’s internationally recognized borders. Thus began what the evidence shows was a long-planned invasion aimed at toppling my government and increasing Moscow’s control over our region. A year later, the results are not what the Kremlin expected.

Tragically, 410 of our citizens, mostly civilians, were killed, and more than 1,700 were injured. Almost 130,000 people were forced to flee their homes, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, including tens of thousands ethnically cleansed from villages in the Georgian territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Costs ran into the billions. And in violation of the cease-fire that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed Aug. 12, about 10,000 Russian troops remain in the two Georgian territories.

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Vladimir Putin: A Decade of Failure

Top Russian pundit Yevgeny Kiselyov, writing in the Moscow Times:

Russians love to celebrate anniversaries, especially “jubilee anniversaries” — that is, those that are marked by round numbers (10 years, 20 years, 30 years, etc.)

But there is one 10-year anniversary on Sunday that leaves little room for celebration. On Aug. 9, 1999, then-President Boris Yeltsin, who at that point was physically exhausted, weak and easily manipulated, made what was probably the greatest mistake of his political career: He named a new government led by the little-known Vladimir Putin.

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The Sunday Funnies

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Translation: “Hey! Get back here! Damn you, World Trade Organization!”

Source: Ellustrator. (To view a photo of the Ellustrator himself, Sergei Yelkin, seated at a table with his son and two friends while on vacation, click here.)