MONDAY DECEMBER 7 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Putin’s Axe Falls Again
(2) EDITORIAL: The End of Freedom of Religion in Russia
(3) EDITORIAL: The Putin Plunge
(4) Russian GPS: SNAFU
(5) Putin, Bugged
NOTE: Do you find you just can’t get enough of the Soviet TV Russians were watching whilst executing their writers, informing on their neighbors and terrorizing their tiny neighbors. Then LONG LIVE CCCP! This is for you. Free of charge! Na zdoroviye!
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Putin’s Barbaric Axe Falls Again, and Again
Vladimir Putin continues his barbaric, Stalin-like purge of opposition figures high and low. From the most powerful judicial official to the lowliest student in Siberia, no one is safe from his murderous axe. If you merely lose you job or your place at univerisity, consider yourself lucky you are not simply shot dead.
Last Wednesday, not one but two judges of Russia’s Constitutional Court were forced to resign. Oleg Kozlovsky reports that Vladimir Yaroslavtsev and Anatoly Kononov were forced off the bench for expressing worries about the quality of Russian democracy and the independence of the courts. Yaroslavtsev gave an interview to the Spanish newspaper El Pais, while Kononov gave one to the Russian paper Sobesednik defending Yaroslavtsev and even daring to raise the subject of Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Yaroslavtsev told the Spanish daily: “Nobody knows what [the FSB] will decide tomorrow. There is no consultation or discussion.”
So much for the separation of powers and the concept of judicial review in Russia. Looks like the only opinion that matters where the Russian constitution is concerned is Putin’s.
The End of Freedom of Religion in Russia
The latest act of barbarism against Russian democracy being committed by the nation’s so-called “parliament” is a statute called The Law on Religious Activity proposed by the prosecutor’s office and soon to be enacted into law. It’s just one more heartbreaking step down the road towards establishing a Holy Russian Empire, a road Putin has been following since his first days in office.
Another Russian Journalist takes the Putin Plunge
Call it “the Putin Plunge.”
Russian journalists have a habit of taking it.
In 2007, Kommersant‘s Ivan Safronov went out a fifth floor window in Moscow while working on a story about the sale of weapons by the Kremlin to Iran and Syria.
Then just last week, Olga Kotovskaya fell 14 floors in Kaliningrad, just one day after winning a court case to seize back her TV station from the Kremlin after the government moved in to silence her reporting on political corruption. The Guardian quoted Solomon Ginzburg, a deputy in Kaliningrad’s regional parliament:
Late last month Moscow celebrated the birthday of Father Frost, the Russian iteration of Santa Claus, with a new-fangled announcement: Father Frost’s retinue would move through the holiday skies aided by Glonass, the Russian answer to GPS.
Eagerly waiting children could track his movement online, while he could simultaneously improve his gift-giving efficiency. “Now Father Frost can be sure,” his press release said. “He can monitor his helpers through the Internet, even when he himself leaves for another city.”
Courtsey of Amnesty International.