MONDAY AUGUST 17 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Economic Collapse in Putin’s Russia
(2) EDITORIAL: Further Misadventures of Matveeva the Rat
(3) Sakhalin wants Out!
(4) Now We’ve Seen it All!
NOTE: For those interested in history or philosophy where Russia is concerned, Streetwise Professor offers a truly brilliant (and scary!) take on the Hitler-Putin nexus. Required reading! We link today and reprint on Wednesday.
NOTE: Blogger “cyxymu” has written an open letter to Russian “president” Dima Medvedev asking for an investigation into the cyber terrorism launched from Russia against his blogs. He indicates that previous attempts by him to comment on Medvedev’s blog have been censored. The post already has nearly 100 comments.
NOTE: “Who sings better than me?” he asked. “Nobody does, besides God.”
Economic Collapse in Putin’s Russia
The lastest jaw-dropping bad news out of Russia came last week with the announcement that the beleaguered nation’s economy shrank a stunning 10.9% in the second quarter of this year, a significant increase from the 9.8% contraction that occurred in the first quarter, meaning that the pace of Russia’s devastating recession accelerated rather than slowing at the whopping rate of over 10% per quarter). It was the worst quarterly performance of the Russian economy since the fall of the USSR. The data was much worse than economists had predicted, and the ruble and stock markets plunged accordingly. With only half the year over, economists are predicting a double-digit budget deficit, 10% of GDP or more, by the end of the year, with worse to follow in 2010, including the total exhaustion of the budgetary emergency fund.
The Further Misadventures of Anna Matveeva
Anna Matveeva, Russophile Rat
We’ve written twice before about the scurrying Russophile insect Anna Matveeva, and now it’s time for installment #3.
We love Radio Free Europe, but nobody is perfect. RFE’s Roman Kupchinsky, for instance, lauded Vladimir Putin’s doctoral dissertation just a few weeks before it was exposed as shameless fraud. Yet Kupchinsky looks like Walter Cronkite next to Farangis Najibullah, who recently quoted Matveeva as if she were a military expert and without telling RFE’s readers a single thing about her virulent background in pro-Kremlin propaganda (she blogs for the Kremlin’s “Russia Today” propaganda network).
Najibullah can’t claim ignorance: Just Google Matveeva. The third hit is one of our editorials.
Paul Goble reports:
A group of Sakhalin residents, after a visit to Tokyo, are not only studying Japanese but also collecting signatures on a petition asking that Moscow hand over their island to Japan so that they can live and raise their children in a rich, modern country that is not fighting a war with anyone else.
This remarkable action surfaced today when radical Moscow commentator Valeriya Novodvorskaya reported in her Grani.ru column that one of the organizers, who she indicated had to remain anonymous for obvious reasons, had approached her to ask to whom he should forward their appeal.
Now we’ve seen everything.