FRIDAY OCTOBER 2 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Stinging Defeat for Russia in Germany
(2) Russia’s Virulent Hatred of America, Part I
(3) Russia’s Virulent Hatred of America, Part II
(4) Armenia and the Caucasus
(5) Russia and the Movies
NOTE: Kim Zigfeld’s latest installment of her Russia column on the American Thinker blog is up and running, it exposes the pathetic level of Internet access available to Russians
NOTE: Yezhedevny Zhurnal columnist Alexander Podrabinek, whom we’ve often translated on this blog, has received death threats over a recent column and gone into hiding.
NOTE: A Russian photographer posts graphic, deeply disturbing photographs taken by his colleague at a provincial Russian mental hospital. Note the photographer’s response to comments in English. Warning: not for the squeamish. Hat tip: Global Voices.
Stinging Defeat for Russia in Germany
Last weekend, Germans went to the polls to choose a new national government, and the pro-Russia party of former German Prime Minister Gerhard Schröder was badly beaten. It’s support in parliament dropped from 34% to 23% and Prime Minister Angela Merkel, who flew to Georgia as soon as Russian tanks rolled in last August to stand by the side of beseiged Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, was decisvely reelected.
The Moscow Times reported that one opposition blogger in Ivanovo posted the following message on his Twitter page: “Good news from Berlin: Putin’s friends lost the election.”
Former Russian Duma deputy Vladimir Ryzhkov, writing in the Moscow Times:
In his speech before the United Nations General Assembly last week, U.S. President Barack Obama said we are entering a new historical era. He declared that the United States would cease taking unilateral actions and called on all people of all nations to join together in combating the challenges facing the world. Obama said we need the “cooperative effort of the whole world.” His foreign policy leitmotif has become the call to cooperate based on shared values. He made similar appeals during visits to Prague, Cairo and Moscow.
Robert Coalson, writing on The Power Vertical:
The reports of U.S. President Barack Obama’s private talks in New York yesterday with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have generally optimistically highlighted the two leaders’ apparently growing agreement on the need to step up pressure on Iran over its nuclear program. Speaking to reporters after the talks, Medvedev repeated a statement he’d made earlier in Moscow that “sanctions are seldom productive, but they are sometimes inevitable.”
I have long been skeptical of the Kremlin’s interest in cooperating with the United States on Iran and should confess that I remain so.
Writing on Hetq Online, an Armenian-American freelance journalist analyzes Armenia’s position in the Caucasus quagmire:
Russia will be well along the road to total defeat by the US and NATO in the Caucasus and beyond if the recently proposed Armenian – Turkish “Protocols” are ratified.
Within two months after ratification, Turkey would be required to open its border with Armenia. Subsequently, or perhaps simultaneously, the Azerbaijani – Armenian border will open if, as appears increasingly possible, an Artsakh (Karabagh) peace agreement is signed.
Regardless of whether the Azeri border opens, a fully open Turkish – Armenian border would inevitably result in US and NATO penetration and subjugation of Armenia.
Let us look at US and Russian policy in the Caucasus, both past and present.
The Diplomat reports:
In St Petersburg you learn how the Cold War was won. Next to a McDonald’s there is a movie theatre, and my translator Anna is taking me out to a Hollywood blockbuster. I don’t quite understand why; Russia is famous for its avant-garde directors and has a proud cinematic tradition. It’s not until we’re sitting in the overheated dark, with the smell of cigarettes and diesel drifting in from the street, that I realise this is a lesson. For a few moments the soundtrack swells, a hush falls, then with a whir and a click the dialogue vanishes beneath a jumpy tape-recording.
Unlike most other countries in Europe, English is not a stalwart of the primary school curriculum. Russia dubs its imports, but the budget for doing so isn’t exactly vast. Pitt and Clooney whisper beneath the rapid-fire bouts of disinterested Slavic drawl, but it’s impossible to catch what they’re saying. No matter how many characters a film may have, only two Russian voice actors play them all – one for the men and one for the women. And it seems to be the same two every time.