FRIDAY DECEMBER 4 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Same old Russia
(2) Russia’s Barbaric torture of Magnitsky
(3) Will the Russian Reichstag burn Forever?
(4) Russia has alienated Almost all its Neighbors
(5) CARTOON: Who are Russia’s Real Criminals?
NOTE: Kim Zigfeld’s latest installment of her Russian column on the powerful American Thinker blog deals with the shocking issue of murders by Russian police officers.
NOTE: #2 and #5 are required reading for those who want to understand the true nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
NOTE: Is this the lamest sports website you’ve ever seen or what?
Same Old Russia
On Friday, as more than 650 people —including a significant number of government officials — were traveling to St. Petersburg from Moscow, the Nevsky Express luxury train was bombed, killing 26 people and wounding more than 100. One of the most striking features of this incident is how Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made no public comments for two days after it happened. Putin — who likes to display his strength by posing shirtless while on vacation — shows a conspicuous lack of strength after terrorist attacks occur in Russia. Usually, he remains silent. Remember how he kept silent during the Dubrovka theater siege and the terrorist attack on Beslan School No. 1.
–Yulia Latynina, The Moscow Times, December 2, 2009
Putin may have been too busy arresting bloggers to worry about terrorists and their bombs.
In our last issue, we wrote about how the Kremlin continues to lay siege to the Russian blogosphere, persecuting and prosecuting bloggers who dare to criticize power with legal process that could leave them bankrupt and in prison just like dissident oligarch Mikhail Khdorkovsky.
And earlier this week we saw an example of just why the Kremlin is still so worried about the power of the Internet, even though only a tiny fraction of Russian citizens can access it.
Magnitsky's mother with a photo of her departed beloved
The Associated Press reports:
The letters are neatly folded and written on soft white paper in a confident, elegant hand. They tell a story of horror in the bowels of the Russian prison system, a saga set against the backdrop of the world of multibillion-dollar investment funds in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer for a London-based fund that was once the biggest in Russia, wrote to his mother of wasting away from an agonizing illness without proper medical care in a crowded Moscow prison cell that reeked of sewage.
Just 11 days after the last letter reached her, Magnitsky died while awaiting trial on tax-evasion charges. He was 37.
Magnitsky’s story hit a nerve in Russia, where memories linger of the millions who died of cold, starvation and neglect in the harsh Soviet gulag. Two of Russia’s biggest independent business dailies ran a front-page story when he died, and President Dmitry Medvedev has called for an investigation. One prison official has accepted some responsibility for the squalid conditions.
In an exclusive interview, Magnitsky’s mother showed The Associated Press a series of letters from her son detailing his ordeal in Butyrskaya prison, notorious for its harsh conditions.
Paul Goble reports:
December 1st was the 75th anniversary of the murder of Sergey Kirov, an action that Russian commentators continue to refer to as “the Stalinist version of [Hitler’s] Reichstag fire” because it opened the way to the purges and the great terror of the following years. But what is even more disturbing now three-quarters of a century later is that, as one Moscow observer put it today, in Russia “the Reichstags burn and burn” because neither in the case of Kirov nor in that of so many other tragedies in that country has there been a full and honest reporting by the government or by authoritative people about what happened.
And because of the lack of such an honest accounting of events, Aleksandr Ryklin writes in Yezhednevny Zhurnal, thoughtful Russians would need to be presented with “convincing evidence” that the special services did not blow up the “Nevsky Express” this week in the service of the powers that be.
“For me personally,” Ryklin says, “the most terrible result of the tragedy with the ‘Nevsky Express’ (after the death of people, of course) is the absence of any hope in the foreseeable future to find out the TRUTH about what happened. Because I will never believe THEM. And not one sober and thoughtful person in Russia will ever believe them.”
Paul Goble reports on the extent to which Russians have alienated their closest neighbors. If you think Russians will now ask themselves how they’ve offended, think again.
With the exception of only one country and the partial exception of a second, ten post-Soviet states are now using textbooks that present Russia in all its historical forms as the enemy of the peoples of these countries, a pattern that is likely to make it more rather than less difficult for these countries to cooperate in the future.
That is the conclusion of a 391-page report released in Moscow on “The Treatment of the General History of Russia and the Peoples of the Post-Soviet Countries in the History Textbooks of the New Independent States” (a summary is also available .
Source: Ellustrator. This drawing, without any caption, has drawn nearly 200 comments already on author Sergei Yelkin’s blog. The first commenter states: “I think this is the best work you’ve ever done.” These are Russia’s true patriots, who dare speak out against the atrocities of the Putin regime regardless of the consequences. How we admire them!