MONDAY JANUARY 4 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Putin shows Snegurochka who’s Boss
(2) EDITORIAL: Russia butchers its Women
(3) Russia in the Red
(4) Mr. Putin and his Sense of “Humor”
NOTE: Kim Zigfeld’s latest installment of her Russia column on the mighty Pajamas Media blog is up and running. It takes the cowardly Obama administration task for what she calls “obamappeasment” in failing to stand up to the imperialistic advances of the Putin regime, thereby encouraging even more aggression just as Chamberlain did to Hitler in World War II. Required reading.
He-Man Putin shows Snegurochka Who’s Boss
Well, it’s another horrifying new low in the annals of Russian barbarism.
Dressed as Snegurochka, the Russian version of Mrs. Claus, 82-year-old human rights activist Lyudmila Alekseyeva appeared on New Year’s Eve (which Russians celebrate in lieu of Christmas) on Tverskaya Street, Moscow’s Fifth Avenue. She waved happily to the assembled crowd. She posed for pictures and signed autographs. A throng of her supporters and admirers gathered to congratulate her on her recent major award from the EU.
Care to guess what happened next?
Seeking Alpha reports:
Purveyors of booming “BRIC economy” hoopla should take the “R” out of their favorite acronym. Russia is struggling no less than the developed economies, and the implications could affect your own investments. Interfax reported Monday that in a meeting with President Medvedev, Finance Minister Kudrin claimed that the Reserve Fund of the Russian Federation—one of the two components of the Stabilization Fund set up in 2004 to serve as a rainy-day repository for oil superprofits—will be fully liquidated in 2010 in order to support government deficit spending.
The fund’s prognosis seems to be growing bleaker by the hour. In an interview earlier in the day with the news channel Vesti, Kudrin had said that total liquidation would only occur in the event that oil falls below $70 dollars per barrel for any substantial length of time, thereby depressing tax revenues and forcing Moscow to dip further into its reserves.
In that interview, the minister had also stated that Russia would start rebuilding the Reserve Fund no earlier than 2013.
The New York Times reports:
It is not, from a purely technical standpoint, impossible to make fun of Vladimir V. Putin. His head is shaped a bit like a light bulb, with eyes that are heavy-lidded, as if to convey that he has just been reading your dossier. He has a needle nose, a prizefighter’s swagger and a fondness for posing shirtless. If all else fails, there is always the matter of height.
But caricatures of the Russian prime minister long ago vanished from state-controlled television. Ten years ago, the creators of the show “Kukly” came under such pressure from the Kremlin to retire their grotesque puppet of Mr. Putin that they responded, rather sardonically, by depicting him as a burning bush. The show was eventually canceled, and caution has prevailed since then. A talk show, “Real Politics,” included Mr. Putin in cartoons, but he was seen only from the neck down.