Daily Archives: December 11, 2009

December 14, 2009 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  The Putin Holocaust

(2)  EDITORIAL:  The Stupidest Thing yet written About Putin’s Russia?

(3)  EDITORIAL:  Russia and her Clueless Citizens 

(4)  Russia, Stuck in the Mud of Backwardness

(5)  In Russia, the Most Dangerous Criminals are the Cops

EDITORIAL: The Putin Holocaust


The Putin Holocaust

“All the vices of our bureaucracy were exposed by this tragedy. Its incompetence, corruption and links to businesses. We need legal changes strengthening criminal punishment for bureaucrats for violations in control and supervision area.  They simply signed fake documents. Did they not know about it? Of course they knew. Where did the municipal authorities look? Why did they close their eyes?”

That was dictator Vladimir Putin’s response to the holocaust in Perm that, by last Friday, had killed over 140 Russians.  He did not acknowledge that his country has one of the worst fire fatality rates on the planet.  He did not accept blame for having done nothing in ten years in power to alter that rate.  He did not acknowledge what his own remarks clearly prove, that the survey results of transparency International, so often attacked as “russophobic” by Russian nationalists, are in fact deadly accurate in declaring that Russia is one of the most corrupt societies on the planet.  He did not accept blame for having done nothing in ten years of power to alter that reality either.

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EDITORIAL: The Stupidest Thing yet written about Putin’s Russia?


The Stupidest Thing yet written about Putin’s Russia?

Famously unafraid of sticking its neck out, this blog would like to nominate for consideration as the stupidest thing yet written about Vladimir Putin’s Russia a Moscow Times op-ed column entitled “Rebranding Russia from Communism to Cool” by Andrej Krickovic, a research fellow at the Institute of International Studies at the University of California Berkeley, and Steven Weber, a professor of management and senior research fellow at the Infrastructure Research Center at the Skolkovo School of Management in Moscow.

After proving that Russia’s PR work under Vladimir Putin has been an abject failure as if it were a revelation, when in fact it’s something everyone in the world, even Russians, knows perfectly well, the authors then suggest three “narratives” that Russia could use to market itself to the West:  Multicultural Russia, Ecological Russia and Resilient Russia.  Each one is stupider and more inconceivable than the last.

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EDITORIAL: Russia and her Clueless Citizens


Russia and her Clueless Citizens

Last week witnessed another bizarre juxtaposition of news reports about Russia. 

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Russia, Stuck in the Mud of Backwardness

Nikolai Zlobin, the director of Russian and Asian programs at the Institute for World Security in Washington, writing in the Moscow Times:

Modernization is becoming the new Russian religion. United Russia has already plastered the word on all of its banners. During its short history, United Russia has gone through many different motifs — from “managed democracy” to “sovereign democracy” to the ambitious goals enshrined in “Strategy 2020.” Now we have been introduced to the latest political motif: “conservative modernization.”

In the West, a political party is formed to unite like-minded people in an attempt to gain power or influence. In Russia, however, the party in control, United Russia, modifies itself to appease whomever is in power. But by doing so, it necessarily creates an obstacle to progress.

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In Russia, the Most Dangerous Criminals are the Cops

Another horrific Russian crime, and another instance in which the criminal perpetrator is a cop.  The Moscow Times reports:

A traffic police officer was caught red-handed trying to rape a woman in an elevator in a sting operation Thursday, and he is suspected in 20 recent sexual assaults in southern Moscow, investigators said.

The unidentified lieutenant from the Moscow region traffic police force was detained Thursday morning as he tried to force himself onto a woman inside the elevator of an apartment building in southern Moscow, RIA-Novosti reported, citing police.

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