FRIDAY DECEMBER 11 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Putin’s Final Solution for the Internet
(2) EDITORIAL: Russia and the Environment
(3) Putin Crushes the Life out of the Russian Economy
(4) One American is Worth Five Russians
(5) Putin to Russia: Don’t Hold your Breath!
(6) PERM FIRE PHOTOS: One is Worth a Thousand Screams
NOTE: Kim Zigfeld’s latest installment on the powerful American Thinker blog addresses the shocking manner in which Vladimir Putin has forced not one but two Russian Supreme Court justices to resign from the bench after criticizing the regime.
NOTE: A translation of Russian short stories by Lyudmila Petrushevskaya entitled There Once Lived a Woman who tried to Kill her Neighbor’s Baby has made it into the New York Times top 35 bestseller list. Sure sounds like somebody who’s seen Russia up close and personal to us.
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Putin’s Final Solution for the Internet
We’ve repeatedly documented that only a tiny sliver of Russian society has full-fledged access to the Internet (just click the “Internet” category in our sidebar to read all the facts). But it appears that if even one person is able to go online and read the truth about neo-Soviet Russia, that’s one too many for dictator Vladimir Putin.
The world learned the horrifying details earlier this week about Putin’s final solution for the Internet. It’s a two-pronged attack on content. First, he directly assaults bloggers and content generators, both with civil and criminal action in court to terrorize them into submission. Then, he chokes off the content providers.
Russia and the Environment
Two items in the news last week made for an odd juxtaposition as an international forum on global warming got underway.
Paul Goble reports:
Industrial production in Central Russia fell by 20 percent during the first nine months of 2009 as compared to the same period a year earlier, the result, one analyst says, not so much of the international financial crisis than of Vladimir Putin’s pursuit of “an energy empire” and his attacks on businessmen who might invest in industrial development.
Vladmir Ryzhkov, writing in the Moscow Times:
“Don’t hold your breath!”
That is how Prime Minister Vladimir Putin answered the question asked during Thursday’s televised call-in show, “Do you ever want to quit politics with all its problems and to live for yourself, for your family and relax?” This pithy quip not only answers the specific question posed, but it also answers the broader question of whether there will be any changes to the autocracy that he has built up over the past nine years. In one single phrase, Putin set the record straight for Russia and the world.