Daily Archives: December 13, 2009

December 16, 2009 — Contents

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 16 CONTENTS

(1)  EDITORIAL: The Russian Judicial Farce

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Kazakhstan & Abkhazia Poke Putin in the Eye

(3)  Russians smoking themselves into the Grave

(4)  Putin & Medvedev Stalinize the Constitution

(5)  A “Reign of Fear” Grips Chechnya

EDITORIAL: The Russian Judicial Farce

EDITORIAL

The Russian Judicial Farce

One may think it outrageous, contemplating the cases of such as Galina Starovoitova, Anna Politikovskaya, Natalia Estemirova, Stanislav Markelov and Alexander Litvinkenko that no killer has ever been tried and sentenced for their murders, much less any mastermind who ordered the killings.  But one must reconsider when one considers the case of Ibragim Yevloyev.

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EDITORIAL: Abkhazia and Kazakhstan jam a Finger into Russia’s Eye

EDITORIAL

Abhkazia and Kazakhstan jam a Finger into Russia’s Eye

Yet more proof of the fundamental unraveling of the Putin regime came last week with the announcement that Kazakhstan had completed its 2,000-mile-long gas pipeline directly to China via Uzbekistan, bypassing Russia.  Not only will the Kazakh line carry its own national gas production, but it will also funnel the massive production of Turkmenistan into China as well.  And the whole thing was paid for by China.  So much for the bizarre notion that China and Russia are somehow allies against the West!

And that wasn’t all.  In presidential elections in Abkhazia, voters emphatically rejected the pro-Russian candidate in favor of a strong nationalist who promises to make Abkhazia a truly independent country, free of Russian influence. Stunned by the devastating loss of its hand-picked candidate, the Kremlin could not even muster the good grace to congratulate the winner, and had it’s puppet calling for a challenge to the tabulation.

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Russian Barbarians smoke themselves into the Grave

Radio Free Europe reports:

Five minutes on Moscow’s streets would be enough to convince any visitor that smoking is a way of life here. Every second person seems to be holding a cigarette.

Waiting to cross the street at a traffic light, cigarette in hand, Sergei Golikov says people should feel free to light up wherever they want.

“It’s everyone’s personal decision,” he says. “If he wants to smoke fine, if not, fine. No one’s forcing anyone to do it.”

Russia has one of the world’s highest smoking rates. The government says 44 million Russians smoke. That’s a third of the population, including more than 60 percent of all males.

It’s having a major effect on the country’s health. Up to 400,000 Russians die each year from tobacco-related causes. But as health campaigns in the West encourage growing numbers of smokers to give up the habit, Russia is becoming increasingly important for international tobacco firms, and the number of Russia’s newest smokers — women and teenagers — is skyrocketing.

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Putin & Medvedev Stalinize the Constitution

Last Saturday marked the 16th anniversary of the Russian constitution, supposedly the nation’s bulwark against sliding back into Soviet darkness. But, as Paul Goble reports, in fact Russia is already ruled by a proud KGB spy who is Stalinizing the document at a rapid pace:

Despite all the talk about rule of law, Russia’s current powers that be are using the country’s constitution in ways that recall the manner in which Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin did rather than in the way in post-Soviet leader Boris Yeltsin attempted to do, according to a leading Moscow commentator.
In an essay on Grani.ru, Dmitry Shusharin says that “one needs to give the current powers that be their due: having made Constitution Day a regular work day rather than a holiday, they have behaved honestly” because their approach completely subverts the efforts of the current Russian constitution’s author.

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A “Reign of Fear” Grips Chechnya

The New York Times reports:

Bearded police in camouflage clothes, carrying assault rifles and long daggers, stop cars with tinted windows in the rebuilt Chechen capital — their latest ploy in the hunt for Islamist fighters.

As one car pulls over, a policeman jerks open the back door, slides in and slashes the dark tinted film off the car windows with his 10-inch (25 cm) dagger.

“If you don’t like it, take it up with the president. Militants could be hiding behind these,” he snarls at a pair of nervous passengers, exposing a row of sparkling gold teeth.

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