Daily Archives: August 14, 2009

August 16, 2009 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  Russian Drivers are Maniacs

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Alexei Pankin, Neo-Soviet Liar

(3)  Another Original LR Translation:  Russian Anti-Americanism

(4)  The end of Freedom of Expression in Russia

(5)  Another Original LR Translation: Russia’s Lethal Bunnies

(6) The Sunday Photos:  Another Russian Inferno

NOTE:  Russia has some interesting geological formations in its far north, reminiscent of a natural Stonehenge or Easter Island.  Soviet Russia links to various photo albums of the remote, almost unreachable attractions.

EDITORIAL: Russian Drivers are Undisciplined and Criminally Careless


Russian Drivers are Undisciplined and Criminally Careless

Russian drivers are undisciplined and criminally careless. As a result, they are inflicting barbaric homicidal damage on their country which can be found no place else in the civilized world.  There is no domestic movement to make the roads safer, no capacity of local government to address the issue, so the national leader has no choice but to police the nation’s roads himself.

Now just hold your horses!  Before you go accusing us of “racism” against Russians, those aren’t our words. They are the words of an entirely different Russophobe, by the name of Dima Medvedev, who just happens to be the so-called “president” of Russia himself.

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EDITORIAL: Alexei Pankin, Shameless Neo-Soviet Liar


Alexei Pankin, Shameless Neo-Soviet Liar

In a recent op-ed in the Moscow Times, Russian “journalist” Alexei Pankin claims that before the war against Georgia in 2008 he was pro-West, but then when the West dared to take Georgia’s side over Russia he realized how wrong he had been.

This news came as rather a big surprise to us here at La Russophobe, since we carefully documented Pankin’s slobbering anti-Western hatred as early as November 2006, when we called him a neo-Soviet bagman, and again in August 2007, when we called him a scum-sucking greaseball.

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Another Original LR Translation: Russia Overflows with Anti-Americanism

Translator’s Note: I am fascinated and horrified by the amount of mindless anti-Americanism one comes across these days.  Obviously, it comes as no surprise when one experiences this in neo-Nazi Russia, where national chauvinism is official policy but it is more annoying to come up against this in Europe, where they should know better. It was therefore with particular pleasure that I read this intelligent article on the subject by a a Russian American.

Don’t Look for Fools in America

Vladimir Gandelsman


7 August 2009

Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel



My colleague Lev Rubinshtein recently published an article [in Grani] on the subject of “mother country” and found that we were thinking along the same lines as I was in fact considering this opening for my piece: A certain German chancellor, when asked if he loved his “heimat”, replied that actually he loved his wife… Don’t get smart with words, in other words. However, if it is in someone’s nature to get smart with words or concepts, and if he’s feeling bored and can’t think of anything else to do with his (not so great) brains, he will almost always wind himself up into a state of hatred for the alien or love of the homeland.

I recall how a group of Russian writers once paid a visit to Israel. One of them snorted that Israel is a historical mistake, another made some senselessly rude remark about émigrés. To cut a long story short, they went there, behaved like louts, and left. Even if we allow that our writers were maybe taken somewhere unsuitable (which can happen on any trip to any country), they probably deserved to be taken to that very place and find themselves talking to the people there. Conversely, there was no need for the locals to get upset, they should have known what sort of people they were dealing with.

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The End of Free Expression in Russia

Two-thirds of all Russian radio stations which previously broadcast programs from Radio Free Europe have been shut down by Vladimir Putin. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Christopher Walker of Freedom House sounds the clarion call of alarm at the final consolidation of neo-Soviet dictatatorship, making the point we’ve made here on this blog many times before: If Dmitri Medvedev has real authority, that would be worse for Russia than if he doesn’t, because it would mean Putinism can continue without Putin at the helm.

Ten years ago on Sunday, Russia’s Duma confirmed Vladimir Putin as prime minister. The vote took place only one week after then-President Boris Yeltsin had nominated the little-known former KGB operative for the post. Yeltsin’s surprise resignation only four months later left Mr. Putin as acting president and paved the way for his election as head of state in March 2000. This swift and far-from-transparent ascent to the pinnacle of Russian power was a sign of things to come.

Over the past decade Vladimir Putin has used the instruments of the state to forge what is known in Russian as a “vertical of power,” a governance model in which authority is tightly consolidated at the top. Putinism captured the Russian zeitgeist as people were hungry for stability, or at least the appearance of stability. The system’s core features include the political control of the country’s dominant energy sector, the quest to restore Russia’s global power status, and a heavy-handed reassertion of Russian influence in former Soviet states.

The most striking quality of Putinism, though, is its hostility to free expression. This decade-long assault on a fundamental human right is not a reprise of the uniform, all-encompassing ideological control that was the hallmark of the Soviet period. To give Russia the veneer of a liberal society and simultaneously create a useful societal steam valve, authorities have come up with a new, selective censorship model. In this system, the state tries to censor information of true political consequence while allowing a certain amount of independence at the margins.

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Another Original LR Translation: Russia’s Lethal Bunnies

kbtop21Translator’s Note:  The following is just too funny and just too sad. What better example could one wish for of a country and people who have not just completely lost their way but actually appear to have lost any sense of honour and pride. One has to have completely lost one’s moral compass to act as described below. It is beyond imagining that the British or US (or indeed almost any other) army could sink to this. The danger, of course, is that although the event in question was totally harmless, an army so devoid of morals or pride will as a matter of course sink to anything, including atrocities.

Orchestra Leadership Will be Punished For Parade in Bunny Costumes


Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel

42186Fontanka.ru reports that the tribunal of the Leningrad Military District has completed its investigation of the military band which performed in bunny costumes, the symbol of Playboy magazine, at a private evening parry.

The district’s military prosecutors have completed their report which has been to the CiC of Leningrad Military District Andrei Tretyak. The document demands the prosecution of Sergei Yezhov, the officer commanding the 5th Military Orchestra of the Leningrad Military District as well as of his second in command and head of music Sergei Vovka.

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The Sunday Photos: Another Russian Inferno

Yet another towering inferno in Russia, as photographed by a Live Journal blogger. Russia has the highest rate of fatality by fire of any industrialized nation in the world, ten times higher than in the United States. Note that this is a brand new building, not a Soviet-era tinderbox, where the risk is far greater and the Russians drop like flies.


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