Daily Archives: September 13, 2009

EDITORIAL: Putin, Now and Forever

EDITORIAL

Putin, Now and Forever

Speaking to the corrupt and repugnant “Valdai Discussion Club” which consists of a group of so-called “Russia Experts” who travel to Russia at the Kremlin’s expense, dine on caviar at the Kremlin’s expense (while the people of Russia starve and die), and then hopefully spread the Kremlin’s propagandistic lies throughout the world, Russian “prime minister” Vladimir Putin declared when asked whether he would run against “president” Dima Medvedev in 2012:  “There will be no competition. We will reach an agreement because we are of the same blood and of the same political outlook.  In 2012, we will think together and will take into account the realities of the time, our personal plans, the political landscape and the United Russia party and we will take the decision.”

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EDITORIAL: Russia the Laughingstock of Nations

EDITORIAL

Russia the Laughingstock of Nations

Already ranked #118 last year out of 183 world nations for placing regulatory obstructions in the path of small business, Russia’s World Bank ranking in that area fell two places this year.  Russia, a member of the G-8, is in other words in the bottom third of all world countries in this area. Nicaragua — yes, Nicaragua — is more business friendly than Russia.  So, for that matter, is Uganda.

In Russia’s 27-nation region, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Russia ranks an appalling #24.  Only Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are more hostile to small business in terms of legal framework.  Georgia, attacked by Russia with tanks and routinely vilified by Russian nationalists as a crazed dictatorship, is #1 in the group. That’s right, #1.

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Laughing at Dima Medvedev

Radio Free Europe reports on what it calls Dima Medvedev’s “laughable” call for reform:

So the president of Russia continues his effort to conquer the Internet space. Dmitry Medvedev’s article “Russia, Forward!” which appeared on gazeta.ru on September 10, is charming. Its charm is unqualified and unconditional — I’d even say that it is absolute. At least it would be hard for me to imagine anything more charming.

My first reaction when I read the piece was a desire to copy it and rework it a bit. For example, maybe put it on a pink background and decorate it with flowers here and there. To mark out particular paragraphs with lipstick kisses and others with smiley faces.

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Russia Knifes the IKEA Baby

The New York Times reports:

Weeks before the opening of its flagship store outside Moscow in 2000, Ikea was approached by employees of a local utility company. If the Swedish retailer wanted to have electricity for its grand opening, it had to pay a bribe.

Instead, Ikea rented diesel generators large enough to power a shopping mall. The generators roared to life in a loud rebuke to the corrupt executives who thought they had the retailer cornered, and soon the utility turned on the power.

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Under Putin, the Russian Language Disappears

Only a tiny handful of foreign nations say "da" to Russian

Only a tiny handful of foreign nations say "da" to Russian

The New York Times reports:

IN a corner of Bukvatoriya, a bookstore here in the capital of the Crimean Peninsula, are some stacks of literature that may be as provocative to the Kremlin as any battalion of NATO soldiers or wily oligarch. The books are classics — by Oscar Wilde, Victor Hugo, Mark Twain, and Shakespeare — that have been translated into Ukrainian, in editions aimed at teenagers. A Harry Potter who casts spells in Ukrainian also inhabits the shelves.

Two decades ago, there would have been little if any demand for such works, given that most people in this region are ethnic Russians. But the Ukrainian government is increasingly requiring that the Ukrainian language be used in all facets of society, especially schools, as it seeks to ensure that the next generation is oriented toward Kiev, not Moscow.

Children can even read Pushkin, Russia’s most revered author, in translation. (This tends to bother Russians in the way that “The Star-Spangled Banner” sung in Spanish can touch off cross-cultural crankiness in the United States.)

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