EDITORIAL: He-Man Putin shows Snegurochka Who’s Boss


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?

That’s right: Hundreds of Vladimir Putin’s thug-like stormtroopers descended on the helpless old lady, grabbed her and threw her in prison.  Santa Claus was also arrested.  Other Russia has more shocking photographs.

These Russians were attempting to assert their right to peaceably assemble as guaranteed by Article 31 of the Russian Constitution.  The U.S. government condemned the Kremlin’s barbaric assault on this year’s winner of the EU’s Sakharov human rights medal, stating:  “The United States expresses dismay at reports that authorities in Moscow prevented Russian citizens from exercising their right to assemble peacefully.”

Coming from the cowardly Obama regime, that’s pretty strong stuff.  When you rough up a little old lady, you’re sinking about as low into the mire of totalitarian obscenity as you can get. Jerzy Buzek, the President of the European Parliament, was also stunned by this naked Russian barbarism:  “I am profoundly and personally touched when I think that this very respectful 82-year-old woman spent the night of New Year’s Eve under Russian arrest. I call on the Russian authorities to release her immediately.”   The people of Russia ought to be utterly ashamed of this subhuman behavior, and they ought to demand that it cease.

But they won’t.  Just as they did in the times of Stalin, they’ll turn a blind eye on the torture of helpless old ladies and they’ll thereby encourage the Kremlin to keep right on doing it.  Only when they hear these stormtroopers knocking on their own door will they think otherwise, and by then it will be too late.

89 responses to “EDITORIAL: He-Man Putin shows Snegurochka Who’s Boss

  1. Hey, I guessed right. Easy one.

    This guy is the oldest-looking OMON I’ve ever seen. Or maybe his face was burned or something.

  2. Well, I am at a loss to understand why this elderly lady, personifying ‘Snegurochka’ was so badly treated, and that ‘Santa Claus’ was also hauled away too.
    Not knowing further information, I am forced to surmise theKremlin’s rationale for this disgusting and surprising governmental interference both on Russian citizens right to assemble, but also why they attacked THIS festal and happy gathering?
    Is it possible?: because this gathering was on Western Christmas Day?….and/or because this soviet-era ‘Mrs. Santa Claus’ was seen as an offront to the (newly revived, neo-soviet)SUPPOSED/SHAM government’s promotion of Russian Orthodox feasts and thus, of the authority of the KGB run Moscow Patriarchy?
    Are we to read into this atrocious Putin thugs’ behaviour, that he is putting down SOME soviet (athiest) social observances, so as, to ‘prove’ (ha!ha!) that he is truly a genuine son of the Russian Orthodox Church???…that he is truly a defender of the traditional Russian Church, and thus, of his version of ,’Russian Culture’?
    We must remember, that to surpress and eventually eliminate all Christian observances and commemorations continuing on, from old-Russia, the communisst….replaced such religious festal observances, with their….Godless….observances, etc.
    But, can someone here, correct me?
    I am at a loss to fully explain this.
    It appears to be but more illogical and brutal repression of the common Russian….as the Kremlin is already doing with non-Russians, inside their wonderful ‘Russian Federation’ but also in surrounding nations, formerly enslaved under their soviet empire, etc.
    What do others think about the meaning of this?

    • An added note: of course, the fact that human rights activist Lyudmila Aleksevyeva, ‘Snegurochka’, is a prominent opponent and critic of the regime….and that she recently achieved recognition from the EU for her human rights activism, no doubt, THOSE are the reasons that OMON was unleashed upon her and her assembled followers, for New Years Eve on Tverskaya Street, in Moscow
      This helpless old lady, shames the KGB rascals.
      Any other more subtle reasons, had to be much lesser in importance.
      The Kremlin wanted to make an example of her.
      But, how pitiful! and helpless, they have made THEMSELVES appear!
      Perhaps, had she have been a man, then…would they also have roughed up and arrested, ‘Grandfather Frost’ too?
      No doubt, they would have.
      And, what about Jesus?

  3. @helpless old ladies

    St Pete OMON 2000:

    On February 5, 2000, Russian forces engaged in widespread killing, arson, rape and looting in Aldi. The victims included an eighty-two-year-old woman


    They even killed the ethnic-Russian Smirnov family: Tolik, Olga, and their daughter Valya.

    And Toita Estamirova, who was who was eight months pregnant.

    And a one-year-old boy.

    • The conscripts said they had an order to kill everyone. “Behind us are Orel OMON, we don’t know what they’ll do with you.”
      A soldier ran into my yard. He shouted, “They are angry, they are killing everyone, go into the house.” He was short with small eyes, about twenty-five years old. He had the same uniform as the others. It seemed like he was a conscript soldier. He made my mother and me go into our house and closed the door.
      Leila said first her mother was killed, then the two men were killed as they left. Avalu was killed inside the hall. He said, “What are you doing? Why are you killing people?” He was shot, then something inflammable was put on the lower part of his body. The house burned down.
      I was outside, I heard the gunfire and saw them falling and heard Malika screaming, “Please help!” We all ran back to our cellars. The soldiers ordered the people out of the cellars warning that they would throw grenades in. The soldiers swore, saying, “Get out you sons of bitches, we’ll kill you all, we have orders.” We heard grenades exploding in the cellars up the street.


    • The conscripts said they had an order to kill everyone. “Behind us are Orel OMON, we don’t know what they’ll do with you.”
      A soldier ran into my yard. He shouted, “They are angry, they are killing everyone, go into the house.” He was short with small eyes, about twenty-five years old. He had the same uniform as the others. It seemed like he was a conscript soldier. He made my mother and me go into our house and closed the door.
      Leila said first her mother was killed, then the two men were killed as they left. Avalu was killed inside the hall. He said, “What are you doing? Why are you killing people?” He was shot, then something inflammable was put on the lower part of his body. The house burned down.
      I was outside, I heard the gunfire and saw them falling and heard Malika screaming, “Please help!” We all ran back to our cellars. The soldiers ordered the people out of the cellars warning that they would throw grenades in. The soldiers swore, saying, “Get out you sons of b*****s, we’ll kill you all, we have orders.” We heard grenades exploding in the cellars up the street.


      • And the murder of another elderly ethnic-Russian, 80-year-old Elena Kuznetsova:

        At approximately 1:00 p.m., Mezhidova was with the Yakhiaevs, Kuznetsova, and a Chechen woman named Koka and her daughter Nurzhan, in the cellar on Second Tsimliansky Lane. Mezhidova told Human Rights Watch what happened when the soldiers arrived:

        Six soldiers came into their yard…. Koka left first. She greeted the soldiers, saying “Good morning.” Koka thought that the soldiers would respect her age, so she went first, but a soldier swore and hit her with his rifle and kicked her and she fell back down into the cellar. I saw her fall back into the cellar.

        When Koka fell, [Kuznetsova] went out [as well as] Khampash and Musa. The soldiers checked their passports. Khampash asked why the soldiers swore at an old woman and why they hit her. Then the soldiers killed all three. I was just about to come out of the cellar when I saw a soldier killing Khampash. I ran back into the cellar and left through a second exit. Khampash was shot in the head from close range. Khampash was killed first, then Musa and then [Kuznetsova]. She had lived in Aldi for forty years.

        Khampash Yakhiaev’s mother-in-law, Zina Yakhiaeva, saw the bodies of the three victims that same day. She told Human Rights Watch:

        On the fifth … I entered my son-in-law’s house. I saw the bodies of my son-in-law and his friend, Musa, lying under the awning. My son-in-law’s hands were bound with wire, he had been shot in the head, shot straight in the face, in the eyes. A young man took photographs. Musa had the same wounds, his head was smashed.

        There was a Russian woman … with them in the cellar…. The soldiers killed her and burned her body in the cellar. There is a bad smell coming from the cellar. She was first shot and then burned … Their heads were smashed-they had multiple bullet wounds to the head.

        Nurzhan, Musa’s cousin and Koka, Musa’s aunt, gave me the men’s passports. They found them in the men’s mouths. The passports were clean, I think they were first shot and then the soldiers put their passports in their mouths.74


        In an April 21 reply to a leading Russian human rights group, Memorial, the North Caucasus Military Procuracy denied that Russian Ministry of Defense or Interior Ministry troops were involved in the Aldi killings. The acting deputy procurator, S.G. Dolzhenko wrote that in the course of the military procuracy’s investigation, they established that:

        The so-called “mop-up” operation in the village of Aldi on February 5 and 10, 2000 was undertaken by OMON units of the city of St. Petersburg and Riazan province, which are not under the supervision of the military procurator.107

      • To Robert, Yes, perhaps the criminal gang that currently runs Putin’s Russian Federation, and it’s appendaged gangster-military and police forces, no longer are affraid of the outside world seeing what terrible things they do. For them to pillage/torture and mass-murder various people, who are not in the media-lime light, they seem to assume that they can get away with those criminal deeds, unseen and un-criticized by the foreign media/governments.( And so far, are they not correct, more or less???) But, for OMON to haul away and rough up, in public, sweet old lady, Snegurochka, ‘Mrs. Santa Claus’…that shows just how arrogant and cocky and perhaps too, just how …desperate….they are getting in the Kremlin, these days.
        Could it be, they they know that their end is coming? Even, Snegurochka looms as a threat to them?
        Somehow, someday, they shall fall!
        I suspect too, that we will see more in-fighting between the various military/police forces, as, afterall, they are nothing less than a modern/neo-soviet version, of feudal waring armies, controlled by warlords. Russia today, is a collection of gangster-held, enclaves, ruled by despots, some listening to Moscow, and more and more, just doing their own thing.
        Truly, in the big picture of human recorded history, there is nothing new under the sun.
        Bad deeds DO come back! There IS a payment to be made for evil, in this world even.

        • They (OMON and the others) just don’t ask questions. Even when they get an order to “kill everyone”, they just do it.

          Even in Moscow, when the world is watching. Remember their response to the Ostankino TV riot in 1993? There were foreign journalists there – and they killed one of them too.


          (“a gun battle” is a grand name for what happened, more like a one-sided massacre)

  4. Do you who read and post here wonder what will become of Russia? It won’t end well and the desperation we see in the “arrest” of Snegoruchka, kind of a war against your OWN people is emblematic of the many other social problems the country faces: orphans either living on the street or being adopted by Americans desperate for children; orphans not adopted or saved by various religious bodies, Christian and Jewish, given a chance at regular meals and shelter in the Army, then grateful to the dictator who “saved” them from life on the street. In any case, the country’s population is spiralling downward. No one wants to be there. No one is sneaking over the border to live in Russia and they kill those loyal or dumb enough to stay there. I say this as a half-Russian who is disgusted at these recent developments that follow so closely what has occurred in the past 100 years and not learned from — sorry for the crappy grammar here.

  5. Pukin is bad, but which russian politician is better?

    there’s not much to choose in russia

  6. Lyudmila Alekseyeva is a well known figure especially after winning a major EU award. The regime most know that this would lead to world wide condemnation. But worryingly they do not care what the outside world thinks.

    The opposition has been crushed in Russia, now even a minor totally non threatening act like an opposition figure celebrating New Year is not tolerated. All we can learn from this madness is that Russia is a brutal totalitarian state.

  7. There is, of course, nothing in the least bit “manly” or “he-man” about beating up an 82-year old woman.

    In roosha, the worst crime you can commit is opposing Putler in any way.

    I recently ran across an old rooshan proverb:

    “beat your own, so that others will fear you.”

    And that nicely sums up the cruelty, misery and twisted “logic” of the rooshan “soul.”

    The whole place is built on fear, intimidation by the “strong,” cruelty and love of misery.

    The best thing about roosha is how wonderful it makes you fell when you leave.

  8. According to the Reuter’s link in the article it said Father Frost was dragged through the snow to a waiting police van, whle Lyudmila was “escorted”. Sorry, but the picture looked more like her feet weren’t touching the ground—that’s called being ‘hauled’ off. I do have to take issue with some of what’s being written though in some of the comments. Yes it may get worse before it gets better, but somewhere, someone IN Russian, who IS Russian is going to say ‘enough’s enough’; and have the charisma and saavy to rally the population and stay alive at the same time. It may come from some street smart kid who still has a heart enough to take care of an orphaned kitten, or it may come from a military/militia officer who is sick of seeing the direction his country is going, or it may come from an 82 year old woman who has nothing more to loose. Russia has managed to stay alive through centuries of oppression, a decade (or two-gag!) of the Russian Rat Pack may be livable. Please encourage those who do love their country, either by birth or heritage to keep fighting for their freedom, their country. Just some thoughts.

  9. Barb, I pray and hope you’re right – but look at what just happened to the brave police officer who reported corruption to Putler (LR has a post about it) – he is now being investigated!

    As far as orphaned kittens – well, you must have missed the post about the wholesale slaughter of stray street dogs so that roosha would “look good” and so the dogs would not intefere with the festivities (I believe LR had a post about that as well).

    rooshans may love their country – but they don’t love freedom.

    The ones that do are either killed or beaten up, or they leave.

    Just ask the 82-year old lady.

    And, Barb, I’ve referred to it before – the movie “Archangel” in one scene captures the brain mushiness of rooshans.

    Premise is that stalin has a son. Daniel Craig, an English professor, is manipulated into discovering the son.

    At one point, Daniel Craig is in the house of the woman whose daughter was raped by Stalin to produce the son.

    The old woman has pictures of stalin in her house years later, and Daniel Craig screams at her “he was a murdered, don’t you understand?”

    To which the old rooshan brain-dead woman (she’s always been brain-dead, in the traditional rooshan way) replies – “he was an important man.”

    It’s a good movie – too bad.

    • Oh elmer, I see it as the Russians don’t KNOW how to be free. They really never have been. In this respect, the west is guilty of not being there for Russia once the Iron Current fell. The West made the faulty assumption that Russia knew, and would, follow the rules of civilized democracy. Instead, Russia got zonked with wily shysters who played the west like a Stradivarius (sp?) and this is what the end result is. Its not that the general population wants this, its more that they really don’t know anything else except self-preservation. They had to do it under the Mongol control, almost 800 years of czarist rule, and 75 years of Soviet domination. Their culture never allowed for them to learn and use the idea of freedom, much less individual freedom. Unlike the Poles who have been fighting for their independence, even existence; the Russians have found it more expedient to “go with the flow” just to survive as individuals. And that is exactly what the powers that be are hoping for; individual preservation versus individual freedom (which of course may entail a sacrifice)
      As for “Archangel”, I read the book. I didn’t realize it had been made into a movie, with Daniel Craig no less—be still my beating heart! sigh! I will need to go find it and watch it. Book was very good.

      • Dear Barb, Yes, I think that you have hit the nail on the head: “the Russians have found it more expedient to ‘go with the flow’ just to survive…..”
        That is precisely the main Russian national feature, at least of the common Russians: they are AFRAID to express any contrary thoughts, from what those in power say or want
        And too, if they do, they risk their own welfare and that of their families.
        To stay alive, in present neo-soviet Russia, one needs to go along with the tyranny, or at least to….pretend to do so, and to SHUT UP!
        Anyone who acts otherwise, can expect to get wacked.
        And what the outside world can do to change this disgusting situation in Russia, I’m not sure.
        All that we have done, and do now, is to allow refugees from there, to have a haven here in the West. But….many here, are tiring of being a haven. We have our own economic and social problems, afterall.

        • Alright Daniel, it’s true we didn’t do much for them, but what can we do, really?

          If we ignore them, it’s our fault, as Barb explained; if we try to teach them, they greatly resent it (calling it “lecturing” or “hectoring” or something and instead of listening pointing to our racial and other problems).

          If we send Jeffrey Sachs and things are screwed, we shouldn’t have sent him. If we don’t send him and things are screwed — we should have sent them because they don’t understand capitalism.

          I’d say, enough already. Let them learn how to fight for their liberties, or just remain serfs if they rather. We produced our own Paul Revere and Sam Adams. We didn’t ask any country to send us one. Let Russians do the same.

  10. That should have said “he was a murderer, don’t you understand?”

    And Daniel Craig is the name of the actor who plays the English professor.

    Still a good movie – too bad.

  11. Barb and Psalomchik – sorry, I don’t agree.

    The rooshans are the same ones who recognized the failings of the sovok system – “we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us,” plus quite a few more insights.

    The rooshans recognized freedom even during the sovok system – sovok TV had plenty of broadcasts about how the US killed black people, and about the poverty in the capitalist US – except that they had to stop broadcasting the stuff about proverty, because even those people lived better than homo sovieticus in the sovok union.

    These are the same people, some of them, who had “samizdat” – (underground self-publication of supposedly contraband literature, news, etc).

    These are the same people, some of them, who came up with the appellation “Putler” after Putler shut down the auto import industry way over in Siberia.

    The same ones who noticed that in roosha “there is voting, but no election.”

    The same ones noticed that “the president of roosha is nominated by the president of roosha and then elected by the president of roosha.”

    So how can these people, who can recognize that something is wrong in the murky sewer of the sovok system, and now Putlerism, in which they live, walk up to the fresh air of freedom – and then choose to stay in the sewer?

    Everyone has to put bread on the table – everyone has to survive. One can choose to put bread on the table as a free person – or as a slave.

    Rooshans choose to do it as slaves in the sewer of Putlerism – why?

    Because he is promising what the czars promised, and what the sovok promised – a great, imperialist roosha. The trump card.

    “You may be living in a sewer, you may be slaves, but look at how great roosha is, look at how roosha has got up off its knees.”

    The czars played “The Great Game” in Afghanistan. The sovoks did no different. Putler is promising no different – “look, we are great, Sakaashvili ate his tie”.

    Look at what Putler is offering – a “new” economic space with Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, a “new” defense space with the same, all of which is supposed to be some kind of substitute for the European Union and NATO, with roosha at the helm, of course. Plus assorted “new” spaces for this and that, all designed to re-establish roosha at the helm. Poor substitutes, at that.

    Oh, sure, you can go to an open air food market in maskva, a very good one, and merchants are “free” to sell their food.

    But they are not free to criticize Putler or Putlerism.

    Oh, sure, you can buy bootleg Western movies and music, and you are “free” to burn in music nightclubs where the morons set off fireworks in confined spaces.

    But you are not free to assemble for political purposes – well, except for Nashi.

    Oh, sure, you are “free” to drive drunk – especially if you are “connected” and can then shout and scream at the policeman who caught you speeding, till he recognizes that you are “connected” and has to let you go.

    But you are not free to say or do things on TV that criticize Putler.

    So the rooshans consent to the killing of journalists – because roosha is “off its knees.”

    So they consent to not expressing their thoughts – because roosha if “off its knees.”

    They consent to fear – because roosha is “off its knees.”

    Sorry, maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t buy the “too downtrodden to realize they’re downtrodden, and too beat up for freedom” theory.

    This is, after all, a nation that plays chess. Or maybe that’s the problem – too busy playing chess to want and implement freedom.

    • So, what exactly are you saying? That they do value freedom and capitalism or that they don’t? You have changed your point a couple of times during your last message and it is confusing.

      My view is that they don’t and nobody would be able to help them become appreciative of the Western values. They themselves should do it

      • To RV and Elmer and all, Yes, sadly! you are pretty much correct. Present day Russia, does indeed appear to be, a hopeless case.
        But what point I was trying to make was: when we speak of all Russians as, ‘they’, we are being too general, too all-inclusive. I believe that there are many decent Russian people, in Russia, who do not want the present rotten system, but that…they feel impotent to even try to change it
        They fear for their lives and their families’ well-being, if they do try.
        It is: living under the Mafia, gangster rule.
        Therefore, they feel that all that they can do, is to survive, them and their blood-kin.
        But, how to reform and to change Russia for the better? Ah! that magic formula,… who can know?
        Perhaps, only prayer (?) can make such a change possible.
        I have known a lot of good/moral/Russian emigrees and their children, here in America, so I personally know that not all Russians, living wherever, are stupid/corrupt/evil/etc. as we tend to perceive about them over there.
        Many Russians, abroad, openly oppose Putin, and here in the West, they DO have access to the internet and to truthful reports.
        Reader Daniel


  12. One more thing – turns out that Jeffrey Sachs and his buddies were thieves after all, and tried to take advantage of the “work” that they were doing for their own personal benefit via the nascent market in roosha.

    The rooshans were smart enough to recognize that – but not smart enough for freedom.

  13. Alexeyeva is a has-been whose Moscow Helsinki Group is funded directly by the NED , Ford etc etc and what is omitted here is the fact that Limanov was marching his Fascist National Bolshevik boot boys right behing Alexeyeva.

    None of these basic fact, nor the fact that the oppositionalists moset use both human rights and 82 year old women as useful idiots to get the cameras on to her and gain global publicity.

    The oppositionists are a motley disarray of Fascists, neoliberal authoritatians from the era of Yeltsin’s shock therapy era, the government that blundered into Chechnya.

    None of that matters, of course, to those like Edward Lucas who has contacted my website to let me to know he is not happy with the idea that someone can see through the scam.

    Whilst Putin is an authoritarian he’s disliked because he has restored Russian control over the economy and restored Russian pride. This annoys some.

    Not least anti-Russian xenophobes and racists, NGO “Limousine Liberals” with no contact with ordinary Russians who were sujected to brutal shock therapy by the Yabloko “liberals”.

    These oppositionists are opportunistst,master of PR techniques learnt from Washington think tanks that depend on access to money, access to a global media and credulous liberals in the West

    I have requested Lucas to remove La Russohobe from his blogroll as the tone and content , the referrences to “Russian barbarism” pander to ethnocentric racism.

    It does Lucas no credibility to have links to a site that uses Nazi like terminology, not least as Norman Davies has written a preface to The New Cold War.

    This title might be sensational, as it is one dimensional and simplistic, but it also gives succour to neo-Nazi racists in the Baltics and Saakashvili’s anti-democratic measures.

    I will be writing to Davies, a good liberal who might have an opinion on his name being put to the cause of the atavistic hatreds and nationalisms his histories have fought against.

    Lucas must withdraw this repulsive racist blog from his New Cold War website or else I think it will be necessary to inform Davies of the nature of those Lucas claims he is “happy” to promote.

    Best Regards,

    Karl Naylor


    Your view that the Russian Constitution doesn’t apply to Eduard Limonov, or to those who receive funds from foreigners, is baseless and, in fact, insane.

    Your view that Limonov can’t be arrested without also arresting an 80-year-old woman is even more deranged.

    The total lack of source material to substantiate any of your crazed statements marks you as the classic sort of Kremlin defender, i.e., a moron.

    • Having read some of the racist (ie anti Polish, anti Georgian, anti Ukrainian) tripe on Naylors website, what an amazing hypocrite he is.

      He has a fundamental disregard for human rights, and the rights of small nations to be free of Russian imperialism.

      As for “the Government that blundered into Chechnya” yes, Yeltsins government did that, but in addition they also withdrew (due to the heroism of the Chechens of course) and in the end respected Chechnya’s right to self determination (however grudgingly), however it was Putin who re-invaded and sbujugated the Chechens in a viscious campaign that amounted to a genocide.

      And then there is the overt anti semitism on your blog.

      However, not to worry, judging by the comments, or should I say total lack of them, nobody cares a damn what you have to say.

      Scum like Karl Naylor are the same sort of verminous filth that sucked up to Hitler and to Stalin.

      By the way Naylor, I have written to the Polish Embassy, and requested that they look into your residency in Krakow, and place you on a list of undesirables due to your anti Polish state rants on your website.

      I guess your next winge will be how the Polish government is being “neo-fascist and anti Russian” by cutting the pensions of those puppets of Russia who imposed a tyrannical puppet government on Poland and collaborated with the Russian occupation 1945-1990?

    • Cool story bro.

  14. Hi Andrew,

    The level of vitriol and smears would make you a perfect candidate for a hack Stalinist propagandist.

    The satire inherent in posing as someone concerned with human rights whilst resorting to Stalinoid language ( “scum”, “fag boy”, “verminous filth” etc ) marks you out as somebody who cannot win a reasoned argument but resorts to crude smears and abouse.

    Keep digging, because it just makes my case against this blog and the mindset of of those who produce it and comment on it favourably stronger by the second.

    La Russophobe

    Limanov has no connections with the oppositionists of The Other Russia then does he? The crude, aggressive language shows this. I don’t see much in the way of “sources” here,

    It’s a propaganda site.

    The Other Russia is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy. Getting bit edgy aren’t we?

  15. Its curious that neo-Nazis, that is the ones Limanov represents, are views so sympathetically by you despite the fact that in nations like Germany they would be banned for the use of Nazi insignia. By your curious logic it’s just great for neo-Nazis to prade around Moscow because they happen to be against Putin. On this site are you prepared to categorically condem Limanov and disaassociate yourself from his policies and call for him to be rejected by the oppositionists to Putin and ostracised by Kasparov?

    Yes or no?

    • I despise neo-nazis in any country Karl they are scum indeed, but I also despise scum such as yourself that are quite happy to sell countries like Poland, the Baltics and Georgia to Russian imperialism.

      You also fail to mention that Russia has a massive neo-nazi problem, and that these neo-nazi’s are aided and abetted by the Russian government and security services.

      Your dimissal of long time democracy activist and real Russian heroine Alexeyeva, the Helsinki group, and I note from your infantile website, Memorial et al is beneath contempt.

      Who are you funded by?

  16. How brave to make a comments about someone without letting him reply. You’re afraid, aren’t you?

  17. Eduard Limanov is a Fascist. He is part of the Other Russia Coalition that you support unconditionally and that makes a farce o the claim of Kim Zigall and you to be “anti-Nazi”.

    I’ll repeat the question once more since you have ignored it in favour of a generalised evasion in prociaming to be against all “anti-Nazi scum”

    Are you prepared to stand by your anti-Nazi convictions and call on Kas[parov and The Other Russia to expel and publicly condemn Limanov from the coalition of oppositionists ?

    “Neo-Nazis” are not aided and abetted by Putin, though he supports right wing nationalist groups. Putin’s symbolism derives from the myths of ‘the Great Patriotic War’

    It blends traditional Russian nationalism with a certain pride in Russia as having been the largest nation in the multinational empire that defeated Nazi Germany.

    For Putin to ally with or be seen to be promoting Nazis would discredit him both at home and abroad, as anti-Nazism is a central plank of his nationalist appeal.

    The same does not go for Kasparov wgho is merely a sly political manipulator who is tolerant of blatant neo-Nazis because they hate Putin for not being nationalist enough.

    That coalition can be rationalised as necessary to get rid of Putin but it is no less immoral to ally with Nazis than the German industrialists and Alfred Hugenburg did with Hitler.

  18. Alexeyeva is too old to understand anything these days and her human rights stance has been appropriated for thosde for human rights are a pretext to push geopolitical power agendas

    The level of vitriol directed towards those who challenge the credibility of the oppositionists whilst retaining criticisms of Putin’s authoritarian state are curious.

    To be called “vermin”, “moron”, “scum” and to be said to be in the pay of someone is Stalinist language of the kind used by NKVD agents during the Spanish Civil War.

    The idea of No Platform for Fascists is one that “democracy promoters” are keen to promote when it comes to “Islamofascists” in Iran or other non state Islamists.

    Yet when it comes to Russia those like Edward Lucas turn a convenient blind eye to the presence of neo-Nazis like Limanov in The Other Russia.

    As to the funders of The Other Russis in the USA whose hypocrticiacal human rights defenders focused on Alexeyeva’s mishandling but not the boot boys marching as well.

    It was made quite clear on Eatern Europe Watch that Alexeyeva is a genuine dissident and took brave stances in the past. But to use her in propaganda like this is sinister.

    • Blah blah blah Naylor.

      Really you are a moron.
      You denegrate democracy activists in Russia, you denigrate the countries of eastern Europe that are trying to build working democracies free from Russian opression and imperialism.

      I happen to live and work in Georgia, and be sure I can testify that everything you write about Georgia is BS, have you ever actually visited the place?

      People here can (and do) publicly and on TV and in print media criticise the ruling party and president to thier hearts content, and compare the Georgian governments reaction to the April 2009 protests with that of the Russian government to a handful of protestors.

      Really you are just a shameless FSB stooge.
      Your conspiracy theories about reformist and human rights activists are really incredibly pathetic.

      Tell my, why do you live in Poland when you despise its government (and its people too by your repeated condemnation of them and their national aspirations, not too mention your venomous bile directed at the Baltic republics, Ukraine and Georgia)? Is it because you are considered too pathetic by your Russian sponsors to live in the Rodina?

      Besides, as evidenced by many of your posts on your pathetic, and by all acounts ghost town like blog, you cant even get basic facts and figuures right.

      By the way moron, you claim others to be in the “pay of someone”, don’t winge and whine like the coward you are when others ask you the same questions you pose to others.

  19. Andrew

    I’m not descending to your hack Stalinist level of abuse.

    Not one assertion you have written has been substantiated and you assert stridently and with insults in direct propotion to your lack of dignity as a human.

    Real humamn rights activists care about humans. They no not denigrate them as “scum” or “vermin” or other abuse which is indicative of your mindset.

    Look up the word projection in the dictionary.

    AS for Zigall, I will be profiling her as well as others who are connected to this site in order to ask Mr Lucas to get a site riddled with Nazi terminology and neo-Nazi language to be struck off.

    It does his credibility no good.

    Criticism of Russian policies is right and essential just as it is equally of the oppositionists.

    So, I’ll ask you once more: do you condemn Limanov as a Fascist and do you think he should be removed as a coalition partner: yes or no?

    It is really a simple question which should have a simple answer.

    And guess what? I’m not funded by anyone. That was a Stalinoid ruse as well, “ie he who pays the piper calls the tune””.

    It really is pathetic that you seem unable to condemn National Bolshevism whilst hypocritically calling Putin a “Hitler” or “STalin”.

    Drop the shrill tone and answer the questions. The oafish and doltish way I notice you react to criticism marks you out as the least convincing human rights advocate I have come across.

    Apart from the odious a slimy Calvin Tucker and nis pro_castro “21st Century Socialism”. He’s the guy you want to slam if tou are looking for people who have nostalgia for the USSR.

    I’m not one of them

    • The only criticism on your site is for Memorial, Helsinki Group, the opposition parties in Russia, the Georgians, the Ukrainians, the Latvians etc.

      As for “projection” no, not at all.
      Just calling a spade a spade.

      I support the right of those opressed by Russia to determine their own future, something you seem to be totally opposed to.

      By the way Naylor, you obviously have trouble reading, I did condemn fascism in all it forms, but fascist is as fascist does, and in that respect you sir are much more of a supporter of Fascism, with your pedantic support of Putin and Russia’s foreign policy.

      From your quite rediculous posts on your site, which descend to the most rediculous level of conspiracy theory regards the former soviet republics.

      As for respecting human rights, I respect your right to say what you like, but I have the right to insult you for your stupidity, or did you forget that part of human rights?

      As for dropping the “shrill tone” you first little boy. And how about you answer some questions yourself? Likw who provides your funding?

      Which Russian government department funds your bile as posted on your (mostly unread) blog?

      Come on, put your money where your mouth is boy.

  20. I will, BTW, look at the levels to which this site will descend, monitor it as well being fair to Lucas by buying his New Cold War, though I begrudhe him the royalties,

    Then I’m going to dissect it clinically, exposing the way he frames the discussion of the Great Game between “the West” and Russia, as well as mking criticisms of those who go to the opposite extreme like the Pilger

    Those who rationalise shoddy realpolitik between Zimbabwe, Russia, Venezuela Bolivia etc etc. All power politics needs to be criticised, as thats what being a dissenter is about

  21. But this will be my last comment for a while. I just want to draw from it as evidence as part of my investigation into Zigall and the way pseudo-dissident politics is funded.

  22. An 82-year old woman shows up on a maskva street on New Year’s Eve.

    She’s not drunk, she’s not rowdy, she’s not committing any crime. She’s smiling and happy, and waving to people.

    Yet, she gets hauled off to jail, in a rough manner.

    Why was she hauled off?

    What crime did she commit?

    The explanation is given by some lunkhead named Naylor –

    “Limonov is a fascist.”

    Pretty much right in line with the way they “think” in roosha.

    Upside down and backwards.

  23. I didn’t justify that arrest you dolt. Learn to read what someone has actually written as opposed to what your befuddled mind assumes is there.

    “Pretty much right in line with the way they “think” in roosha”.


    By the way Naylor, you obviously have trouble reading, I did condemn fascism in all it forms, but fascist is as fascist does, and in that respect you sir are much more of a supporter of Fascism, with your pedantic support of Putin and Russia’s foreign policy.

    No, i just don’t.

    Putin is an athoritarian. Fascism is different and militarily expansionist and based on racial ideas of blood and soil which Putin does not hold to. Limanov does.

    I’ll ask you for the third and last time: do you categorically condemn The Other Russia for entering a coalition with a neo-Nazi or not. Yes or no?

    Can you answer a direct question or not?Failure to condm ithis specific question will be taken that you support Limanov and that makes you worse than Putin.

    Hitler was not not Hitler before he became Fuhrer of Germany and promoting race hatred under the pretext of group rights discredits the Russian opposition.

    It isn’t difficult for even somewone of you very limited intellect to grap

    So answer the question.

    • Ahhh, excuse me you moron,

      You say that Putin’s government is not expansionist?

      Can you explain his statements regarding the fact that “The collapse of the Soviet Union was the greates geopolitical tradgedy of the 20th C”, or his creeping annexation of parts of Georgia, his statements that Ukraine is “not a real state”, and that Georgia’s independance is “not legitimate”??

      Putin has shown REPEATEDLY that he is a Russian chauvanist and imperialist, his actions in Chechnya (amounting to an attempted genocide), his direct support for ethnic cleansing by separatist governments in Abkhazia and South Ossetia (I notice you do not condemn any of these actions on his part, so much for YOUR attitude to human rights).

      Putin’s government frequently issues statements blaming the overwhelming majority of crime on ethnic minorities, which according to statistics in simply not true by the way, Russians having a fairly large stranglehold on committing crime in their own country.

      I have no more time for the “national bolsheviks” than I do for “United RuSSia”, the rhetoric from both groups is the same, racist and nationalistic.

      Now, I ask you again, who funds your Putinist bile, why do you live in Poland when you show such contempt for its people and their aspirations?

      And I also ask you why you fail to condemn Putin when his government shields the real neo-nazi’s that murder immigrants and kill the real anit-fascists such as Markelov etc?

  24. Correction

    Failure to answer this specific question will be taken that you condone Limanov’s Fascism or his role as an oppositionist.

  25. I don’t know why anyone would give Karl Naylor the time of day.

    He is a Callan Method English teacher which explains why his brain operates in such an obtuse manner.

    Interestingly, the Callan method involves no preparation from the teacher, just reading questionhs from a book and eliciting responses from students. It’s essentially programming based on repetition. Sound familiar?

    I’m sure the parents of your students in Krakow would just love your diatribe Karl!


  26. Observe Karl getting a little holier than thou whilst demeaning the achievements of Poles in the UK job market:


    Do you even have a degree Karl?

    Isn’t the Callan Method designed for those drunk, pockmarked sleaze-bags who wander the streets of Krakow till the cash runs out and they take what they can get?

  27. Snegurochka had a stroll with nazional-bolsheviky – right-wing group of people in Russia who justified Hitler and Stalin simultaneously so I think that is a absolutely crime group. And Snegurochka is a new girl-friend of Limonov – the leader of mentioned above group. I beg my God to prevent Russia from people as Limonov. I think that people who shares and spreads Limonov`s point of view are criminals and should be punished without clemency. So I think their detention is a good deal but their liberation is not good news.

  28. What crime did this 82-year old lady commit on New Year’s Eve in the streets of maskva?

    • To Elmer and ‘I’m Russian’ and all,

      ‘What crime did this 82 year old lady commit on New Year’s Eve in the streets of maskva?’

      Answer: Didn’t you see her holding that dangerous lethal weapon, her CANE in her hands???
      Had not the brave heroic OMON warriors grabbed that wicked cane from her clutches, wrestled her down and hauled her away, she, Mrs. Santa Claus ….might…have ….DESTROYED RUSSIA! (YOY x 3!)
      Let’s hope that just such ‘helpless’ people as her, DO help to topple the neo-soviet empire, before IT totally destroys Russia, and….the world.

      For ‘Old Calendar/Orthodox Christmas’ today, Jan. 7, 2010:
      Today: S-prasnecum!/Festal Greetings! with the Nativity of Christ! – ‘S Roszhdyestvom Kristovim !’

      • Gilotsav Shoba! Dideba Uppalo, Dideba Ghmerti, Dideba Krisit Ghmerti!!

        For Christmas, Glory to the Lord, Glory to God, Glory to Christ God!!

  29. Andrew still refuses to answer the question of whether he supports Limanov or not and whether he believes it is right for The Other Russia to have a Fascist as an “oppositionist” to Putin

    The level of vitriol is welcome as it proves that the La Russophobe mob are incapable of logical thought and resort to Stalinist tactics to smear and assassinate a person’s character.

    At one level the boys are having fun, like the psychopaths who yell and jeer at Limanov rallies, their ugly faced didtiorted and contorted in hatred.

    The uneducated Andrew responds so foolishly to the issue of Russia not being expansionist ,it is hard to believe he has had any educatiion at all, let alone the one I had.

    For the record I do have a degree from the University of Warwick, said to be in the top 5 just behind Oxford, Cambridge and LSE ( as if it mattered ).

    Andrew screams,

    You say that Putin’s government is not expansionist?

    Can you explain his statements regarding the fact that “The collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical tradgedy of the 20th C”

    Yes, it’s called propaganda and the statement was true in so far as it lead to the same ethnic cleansing by the Georgians on South Ossetia and in 1991-2.

    As A russian, Putin wants to restore pride in “the Motherland” and so he is bound to make stastements like that to gain the support of those nostalgic for the USSR.

    The reason was that Washington imposed IMF imposed reforms caused such devastation that most people thought the old system, as bad as it was, was betterr for them.

    That is the reality in Russia and screaming hatred at Putin and making ethnocentric racist comments against Russians is neither here nor there.

    La Russophobe as a propaganda site makes not one bit of difference and only a terminally retarded bigot like Andrew will buy into the 2 minutes hate routine this site constitutes.

    There is no “creeping annexation of parts of Georgia” as these parts Georgia such as South Ossetia want what the Kosovans demand which is the right to self determination.

    Far right Georgian nationalists, the decent kind who do not clap and shreik at the demolition of the War Monument in Kutaisi, are tired of Saakshvili’s warmongering.

    The monomaniacal halfwits who spew out venom condem themselves from their own writing and rants. The obvious can be pointed out and the opposition shreik and shout.

    Russia is a regional power which has realpolitik interests and is playing the Great Game for control of Eurasian resources. Georgia does not have oil but the BTC pipeline.

    There is no reason for Putin to need to annex Georgia and every interest in Georgia to mend relations with Russia which used to be a major importer of its fine wines.

    “Putin’s government frequently issues statements blaming the overwhelming majority of crime on ethnic minorities, which according to statistics in simply not true by the way, Russians having a fairly large stranglehold on committing crime in their own country”

    The Chechen mafia is a problem which is why Putin specifically points them out, though Andrew thinks one set of gangsters is just fine as long as they are not Russian.

    This is another example of the totalitarian racist mindset of those encouraged by La Russophobes ethocentric racism and support for the neo-Nazi Limanov.

    Time and time again La Russophobe contributors refuse to condemn Limanov, with Robert’s claim they are merry pranksters an apology for Nazism.

    Limanov’s National Bolshevism is explicit Fascism, it has called for violence against Russian minorities in the Baltics Republics on a constant basis.

    Limonov is a strong backer of Serbia and was happy in joining a sniper patrol in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Bosnian war.

    BBC television showed Limonov with Radovan Karadžić, former Bosnian Serb president and accused war criminal for genocide against Bosniaks of Bosnia.

    The video featured Limonov firing a sniper rifle from a tank into the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo. Limanov supports ethnic cleansing.

    Limanov claimed that Serbian style tactics should be used to regain Russian parts of ex-Soviet republics, which makes Andrew’s position curious.

    Putin makes “noises” about Ukraine not being a real state ( some English people thought that with regards Wales until relatively recently ) but Limanov stokes up ethnic irredentism.

    True it is a model Limanov follows in trying to out do the nationalism that La Russophobe and gentlemen scholars like Lucas claim Putin is the exemplar of.

    The question is really simple: is “La Russophobe” and Lucas, who is “happy ” to support this site prepared to turn a blind eye to extreme Fascism and rhetoric of Limanov?

    Yes or no ? Not in rejecting the “tactics” but in rejecting a philosophy founded on ethnic racism simply because he opposed Putin, the epitomy of what Orwell termed doublethink.

    Admit it boys. You are intellectually outclassed here which is why you resort to hatred and vitriol just like any run of the mill neo-Nazi bigot does when called on to think.

    Denounce Limanov or else you are neo-Nazis just as he is, something evident in every sentence writte, in the tone of the writing and the dehumanisation of opponents as “vermin”

    Got it ?

    Please feel free to profile me like the Stasi snooping secret policemnen you would love to be whilst laughably condemning the NKVD and Stalin.

    It is difficult to know what is more disturbing: the fact the vitriol could be genuine of part of an online game played by dispora frat boy Fascists that are sometimes encountered.

    Something evident by the prevalent US style of English. American citizens of ethnic dsecent from ex-Soviet republics have a reputation for neo-Nazism and psychopathology.

    The craving for “roots” is one psychological explanation as is the obsessive compulsive frat boy competition encouraged at some US universities and other such vulgarities.

    • Now Naylor, the university of Warwick in NOT considered to be in the top 5 ENGLISH universities. Enough said on that one.

      As for Georgian “ethnic cleansing” in South Ossetia in 1991-92, it did not happen (except in Russian agitprop), of course you show a very poor understanding of history in this regard (and I did read history at one of the actual top 5 BTW). There was no ethnic cleansing in South Ossetia (by either side) until 2008, when the Russian led separatist militia, and elements of the Russian military, ethnicly cleansed the native Georgian population of the region.

      Intersting to note that Georgians are the autochithinous population of the area known as Shvida Kartli and that Ossetians first arrived from the north in around the 14th and 15th centuries in small numbers (when they were given refuge by the Georgians from their Mongol opressors), and did not become the majority of the province until the 1890’s after the Tsarist government forcibly transferred large numbers to the south side of the Daryl pass, and the Georgians were still the majority in Tshkinvali until the 1960’s when Russia opened the Roki tunnel.

      Intersting to note that the UN points out that there was very little inter ethnic discord amongst ordinary Georgians and Ossetians in the province despite the fighting of 1991-92, and I would like to point out to Naylor that more Ossetians live in Tbilisi than in all of South Ossetia. In addition large areas of South Ossetia remained under Georgian control and were ethnicly mixed, the Georgian administration of these areas was led (until the real ethnic cleansing by Russia in 2008) by Dimitri Sanakoyev, who had been a separatist in 1991-92 but saw his people future as an autonomous region of Georgia.

      So much for his implications regarding Georgians.

      Yes, Chechens are involved in Mafia in Russia, but the simple fact is that the overwhelming majority of crime is comitted by ethnic Russians (see any foreign embassy guide to safety in Moscow/St.Petersburg for details), and for your information Naylor, Russian state media broadcasts some pretty repulsive racist stereotypes of ethnic minorrities (see TNT for example) though I suspect you would laugh along with the average Russian on that one, given your obvious racism against non Russians in the former USSR.

      Then there are the overtly racist policies of Putin, such as his ordering the deliberate and indiscriminate killing of Chechen civillians, his expulsion of Georgians from Russia (by cargo plane no less) in 2007 during the legitimate arrest by Georgia of 4 Russian officers who were spying in Georgia, and his subsequent attempt at an economic blockade.

      In addition you show your ignorance when you say Putin has no interest in controlling Georgian territory because all they have is a pipeline.

      Really are you so incredibly ignorant? (Yes you are unfortunately) Putin wants to control Georgian territory, so he can gain control of the only way for central asian oil and gas to get to Turkey and the EU wihout passing through Russian hands.

      Try thinking Naylor, your arguments don’t stand up at all.

  30. What crime did the 82-year old woman commit on the streets of maskva on New Year’s Eve?

    So far, Psalomchik has noted that she was “armed” with a cane, and could have destroyed roosha. :-)

    The way things “work” in roosha, with its upside-down twisted “logic,” there is probably a lot more truth to that than you might think, Psalomchik.

    Sooo – what crime did this 82-year old woman commit?

  31. “I was so proud, two weeks ago, to award on behalf of the European Parliament the Sakharov Prize 2009 to Memorial – to Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Oleg Orlov, Sergei Kovalev – on behalf of Memorial and all other human rights defenders in Russia. But I asked in my speech ‘whether Andrei Sakharov, one of the founders of Memorial, would feel pride, or more a sense of sadness that today’s Russia still needs such organisations?'”

    EP President Buzek added: “When Lyudmila Alexeyeva on 16 December was in the European Parliament during the press conference following the awarding of the Sakharov Prize, the media asked her if she was not afraid to return to Russia after having received the Prize from the European Parliament. The action of the police in Moscow gave a very disappointing answer – human rights defenders in Russia still can not demonstrate freely.”

    “With the Sakharov Prize 2009, the Members of the European Parliament honoured those still among us who fight for human rights, but also honoured those who lost their lives in this very struggle. Lyudmila Alexeyeva was protesting yesterday, because she wanted to defend the Russian constitution and the right to demonstrate. I still hope one day Russia will be a partner on whom the European Union can rely, respecting basic human rights.


  32. My special thanks to comrade ‘Karl Naylor’ or whatever is his real born name and whatever is his KGB moniker nickname!
    Through his statements here, we get the most up-to-date, Kremlin’s line of BULL propaganda, on various related subjects. It is enlightening, in a dark way.
    And, we do need to listen to what our enemies are saying ,especially in Moscow, even if it is disgusting, even if it is mostly deliberate distortions or outright lies.
    It is they who tell us that: neo-soviet Putin’s KGB ruled present (captive) Russia, is a major threat to the whole world, militarily, economically,
    and….corrupting our moral/spiritual values.
    Thanks, again, comrade ‘Karl’, and thanks too to your fellow Putler’s internet goon cadres.
    When I quote your words, I can be assured that your words, come directly from the Kremlin nomenklatura elite.
    Spasebo! (or should I say, Danke!….since you have taken a German first name?)….are you named after Karl Marx?
    Happy New Year, regardless!…but go slow on the vodka, or your further words here, might become too garbled, too…unbelievable.

    P.S. best to drink the imported Polish vodka, it is better quality than most locally produced Russian vodka. The Poles filter it through the charcoal, more times. That is the secret of a smooth, high quality vodka.

  33. The latest 2010 top British University rankings are as follws, with Warwick havinf slipped a bit along with LSE. Still, it’s in the v6th best this year,.

    You can’t get into Warwick by being a “moron”


    1 Oxford 85 3.5 10.8 3396 524 97.7 91.1 82.3 1000
    2 Cambridge 86 3.7 11.6 2385 539 99 87 85.5 968
    3 Imperial College 75 2.7 10.3 3518 489 97.1 68.5 88.4 859
    4 St Andrews 84 2.5 12.4 1423 468 94.2 85.1 77.8 792
    5 University College London 77 2.7 8.9 1784 452 92 80.4 82.9 775
    6 Warwick 77 2.4 13.1 2118 463 96 79.7 79.2 772
    7 London School of Economics 73 2.8 13.3 1699 483 96.5 76 90.6 768

    The ethnic cleasing of South Ossetians is widely documented fact in 1991. Enmities that have carried on until this day, but which do not natter because Georgian militaias did it.

    “Intersting to note that the UN points out that there was very little inter ethnic discord amongst ordinary Georgians and Ossetians in the province despite the fighting of 1991-92, and I would like to point out to Naylor that more Ossetians live in Tbilisi than in all of South Ossetia”

    Where they have along with Azeris been subject to racist rhetoric from Saakshivili’s reime. More Georgiand live in Russia too, another reason this idiot nationalism of Saakshhvili is unpopular.

    Amongst ordinary Georgians who oppose his rigged election, authoritarian power, repression of the media and admiration for Stalin’s hardness ( no removal of the Gori statue-why? )

    I’m definitely off as I’m writing on my own website for the next few weeks. As well as researchimng and diissecting forensically Luca’s’ propaganda and exposing it.

    He’s at least important. You are not. And I have better things to do with my time.


    • Well Naylor, guess you don’t keep up with current events.

      The Gori Statue IS being removed my moronic friend.

      As for Azeri’s and Ossetians being “subject to racist rhetoric from Saakashvili’s regime” sorry, but if you have actually visited Georgia rather than getting all your news from “Russia Today” you would see quite the opposite.

      The Ossetians I know in Tbilisi despise the Kokoity regime in Tshkinvali, their sons serve in the Georgian army along site their Kartvelian nieghbors, Ossetians have the option to study in Ossetian language high schools in Georgia, a right denied to them in North Ossetia one might add, as do Azeri’s in Tbilisi and in the far easter regions of Georgia, while Armenians in the (20th century population transfer) Samstke-Javkaveti region study in Armenian language schools.

      Also interesting to note that Abkhazian was made a second national state language of Georgia in 1993 DURING the war in Abkhazia.

      By the way, your spelling gets worse and worse as more and more of your BS gets exposed.

      Well, you Callan method teachers never did amount to much. Try teaching English properly my boy, though given your latest post you probably would fail IELTS let alone be able to teach English to a sufficient standard for your students to pass it.

      As for “more Georgians live in Russia too”? what? around 1,000,000 Georgians live in Russia (mostly as a legacy of the USSR), while 4,000,000 or so live in Georgia? What exactly is your point?

      Meanwhile the Georgians that live in Russia are subject to real state racism, they are harassed by the police, deported by being made to stand in the cargo bay of an IL-76 cargo plane on the deportation flight from Moscow, have their businesses siezed by the state, are murdered by government protected neo Nazi Russian skinheads, the list goes on.

      For all his faults, Saakashvili is still vastly superior to Putin (your undying love for Putin is quite obvious in your ghost town of a website, tell me once again, why dont you live in Russia if it is such a great place? Come on, I am interested). But since 2004 he has majorly revived and improved Georgia, mostly stamped out corruption (you will never be rid of it entirely, just look at the EU and US, it still happens occasionally), built up transport and public utility infrastructure to the point where people now complain if the power goes off for 15 minute (rather than the 12 hours a day blackouts prior to 2004), he has made Georgia the fastest reforming (ie stamping out corruption, mafia etc) country of the ex-Soviet states, and will step down in 2013, despite the fact that a recent poll conducted by a foreign NGO showed that 60% of Georgians would prefer him to have a 3rd term. He has no plans to change the constitution (unlike Putin one might add).

      By the way Karl, do you think Mr Lucas will bother listening to a nobody such as yourself?

      Especially given your neo-stalinist love affair with Putin?

  34. Bidding goodbye to Stalin’s heavy hand on Georgian psyche


  35. I cannot help but note, that the mind simply boggles at the stupidity of Comrade Karl Naylor. His motto that stupidity is a virtue is paramount to his line of thinking.

    Another obvious thing – a very obvious deduction that even a blind man can see – is that one way or another (i.e. directly OR indirectly,) he is on Putler’s payroll! As although he has been asked this question several times, he still has not answered it. Why??

    Why hide the truth KN, or are you running from something that you have to hide?

    Your pathetic attack on this excellent website “La Russophobe” fell on deaf ears, as evidenced by the mental calibre – you and your KGB stooges most certainly excepted – of the average contributor and the sane way they tend to present their arguments!!

    So please crawl back into your dark hole, you certainly belong there.

  36. Well, it is quite obvious that the 82-year old woman COMMITTED NO CRIME.

    And that Warwick should immediately investigate why they gave a dunce like Naylor a degree – if, in fact, that occurred.

    Apparently, according to Naylor, the woman’s crime is that Limonov is a fascist who opposes Putler.

    Bohdan – I think you’re right. In line with the old sovok motto, “everyone has a price,” Naylor is on Putler’s payroll.

    And apparently Naylor never heard of the very famous line:

    “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    82-year old woman receives human rights award?

    Throw her in jail – Putler and Naylor want it that way.

  37. I saw Saakashvili on Ukrainian TV – quite impressive.

    He did indeed talk about the great strides Georgia had made in stamping out corruption, etc., and the vast improvements in Georgia that resulted from those steps – economically and socially.

    In the meantime, if you point out corruption in roosha – you get investigated, as happened to the brave police officer that LR has posted about.

    • I “met” him in 2004, and I was quite impressed with his demeanor and knowledge of the Ukrainian language. Also, I have many photos of him, which I took in 2004/2005.

  38. The last comment was meant to be prefaced –

    Andrew (- I saw Saakashvili…..)

  39. Andrew.

    Um, no the debate about removing Stalin’s statue is ongoing but there has been no conclusive decision as to remove it in the same manner that the Glory Monument in Kustaisi was blown to pieces , killing an innnocent mother and child just to get the spectacle to co-incide with Saakshvili’s 42nd birthday.

    The Stalin Statue is still standing, when it should have been removed when Saakashvili first came to power .

    Yet he was wary of that as Stalin is seen as a hero by some in Gori and melding a new nationalism that was ‘anti-Russian’ giving power worship priority over anything that could be ‘anti-Georgian’ in the narrowest and pettiest of mationalistic senses

    Besides the current borders of Georgia are those established by Stalin a commissar for the nationalities in the early 1920s

    Saakashvili , on coming to power on a nationalist platform, based on re-incorporating secessionist areas,was not prepared to to criticise Stalin too much.

    The Stalin Statue is still there, it doesn’t matter whether a “decision” is being made about it because nothing has been done since August 2008

    By contrast, the Kutaisi monument was an easy target and its destruction a sign of Saakshvili’s desperation as his popularity plummets as he resorts to any extremist act of far right iconoclasm.

    Before the 2008 conflict Saakashvili was only too happy to associate his hard man persona as a non-Soviet version of Stalin who would stand up to the Kremlin.

    When that backfired after his attack on South Ossetia discussions ensued about what to do with someone who occupies an ambiguous position in Georgian history.

    The tone of the debate since has matched the relative silence on it before 2008.

    Stalin was not so evil before the Russians made their incursion into Georgia after the Georgian grad missile assault on Tshinvali

    Then after Saakashvili was utterly humiliated he became the ultimate symbol of evil once Putin was branded, with the predictable banality complicity of the CNN style corporate media village as a “Neo-Soviet threat” like Stalin etc etc.

    There were gentle and tender voices opining on the needs to remove Stalin back in 2003 such that of Levan Ramishvili, director of Tbilisi’s Liberty Institute, a think-tank behind the the 2003 Rose Revolution who, instead of merely requiring in a sensible fashion that it should be removed, say, with a crane , thundered

    “The monument must be completely destroyed..Since the Georgian government is being careful, this should be a civil
    initiative ? I would not rule out that somebody blows up the monument in the night.”

    That penchant for violence is routine amongst Saakshvili’s supporters and mingles even with impulses not far from ghoulish vampirism on the side of the Rose Revolutionaries, a most ironic name for a movement stuffed with mafuia clan politicians, corrupt and thuggish bootboys and far right nationalists that make the Greater Romanians in Moldova look tame by comparison.

    Indeed the daily Rezonansi, for example, reported that President Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement Party is also considering removing the remains of Stalin’s mother from a hilltop Tbilisi cemetery where she is buried alongside famous Georgian writers, actors and other cultural figures.

    Stalin’s mother is not guilty of anything and instead of concentrating on the dire and deterioating poverty in Georgia all Saakashvili’s goons can think of when the tide turns against them is ripping long dead corpses out of the
    ground as if that will exoricise Georgia’s demons.

    Hoever, the most intelligent response has come from historian Lasha Bakradze who maintainsthat Georgians need to come to
    terms with the history of the Stalin era no matter how rather than to try to eradicate the past

    So whilst the museum should be keep the statue should be removed from the plinth and placed somewhere in garden of a museum surrounded by roses and other pleasant and fragrant plants.

    The iconoclasm against Stalin expressed since 2008 is a cheap political stunt based not on principle.The statue still stands but the Kutaisi monument does not.

    Saakashvili acts with pathological impulsiveness and is fundamentally a dangerous far right demagogue branded with slick US PR as a thrusting humaninist and democrat.

    The fact is though that the Stalin statue has not been removed or relocated because he want to exploit his tough guy persona still, the man who sorts out the ‘enemies within’, just as when those ethnic minorities were booted out of their propert for him to build his repulsive Ceaucescu style palace.

    The talk about removing Stalin was very different back in 2004 when Saakshvili’s wife, Sandra Roelofs, the Dutch wife of the new Georgian president, the new first lady of Georgia,opined that her husband was motivated by the long tradition of strong Georgian leaders “like Stalin and Beria”.

    Saakashvili started his march on Tbilisi in November 2003 with a nationalist rally right before the statue of Stalin in Gori before going on to rig the vote to gain 95% of the vote in a poll in January 2004 and declared that he did not see any reason to have any opposition deputies in the national parliament.

    Just as Stalin worked in accordance with gangster like principles, so too did Saakashvili emulate Stalin as the anti-corruption squads targetted only his mafia clan rivals and not organised crime per se as smuggling was very much the preropgative many members of his regime who later fell out, like Georgia’s new “Mrs Thatcher” Nino Burjanadze.

    So the law was used as a toll of political power and to settle scores rather than improve the rule of law, something Edward Lucas froths at the mouth at in the case of Khodorkovsky but ignores in Georgia.

    The fact is that Saakashvili’s regime absorbed most of the KGB and Communist goons from Schevardnadze’s regime when it showed signs
    of wanting to improve relations with Russia after the civil wars and ethnic strife of the 1990s and mass ethnic cleansing of South Ossetians.

    In that regime Saakashvili was comically “minister of justice” under Shevardnadze, before the US pulled the plug on it and decided they needed a new strongman to protect Georgia from successionism of the kinf they encouraged in Yugoslavia.

    The reason was to protect the BTC pipeline just as US actions in Kosovo, supporting the KLA, though on the State Departments list of terrorist groups in 1998, were about getting control over small micromanaged statelets and getting the AMBO pipeline from the Black Sea to the Adriatic as well as building Camp Bondsteel.

    The point is that Saakshvili does not care about ordinary Georgians ecept but to mobilise them and use racist rhetoric against those in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as he has on many occasions. This helped to ratchet up the ethnic tensions that led to the events of 2008 and to which Putin responded.

    You. Are. Out.Of. Your. Depth.

    Got it dolt?

    • Now Naylor, you are a conspiracy nut job.

      If the Saakashvili government is a “mafia clan” how come this is now one of the least corrupt former communist countries (transparency international thinks so, so does the IMF, and the UN). The rule of law is vastly better in Georgia than in Russia, so is freedom of speech.

      Just look at the cases of prominent Russians such as the free press advocate Oleg Panfilov who took Georgian citizenship and moved to Georgia last year.

      What he had to say about Russia:

      “The main reason for my moving to Georgia is the situation in Russia. It’s impossible to live in a country where the authorities lie to you, where media lies to you, and people are afraid of them,”

      Or the Soviet era dissident Alexander Bondarev, who took Georgian citizenship last year, who said that he loved Georgia and was pleased to see it on the right path.

      So whose opinion matters Naylor? Brave (in fact heroic) workers for freedom of speach and democracy, who support Georgia, or nobody scumbags such as yourself, who scrabble in the dirt for crumbs from Russia?

      If you want to see real “mafia clan” government in action, look no further than Russia, or to Russia’s puppet regimes in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In South Ossetia, Kokoity and co have stolen all the (meagre) aid money provided by Russia and failed to do anything to rehouse those left homeless by 3 days of Russian aerial and artillery bombardment.

      Meanwhile in Georgia, the aid money has been used to rehouse those displaced by the 2008 war, the money has been spent in a clear and transparent manner, and its distribution has been monitored clearly and openly by international donors and the UNHCR.

      As for “racist rhetoric” against South Ossetia and Abkhazia, would that be his proposal (given as long ago as 2005) to have a federal state, with 2 vice presidents, one Abkhazian and one Ossetian, who would have veto power over all legislation? Yes, sounds very racist to me.
      Funny how Ossetian children in Tbilisi have the option of studying in full immersion Ossetian language schools, something not possible in North OR South Ossetia, where all cirriculums are taught in one language only, Russian.

      Also it is not something available to the Georgian populations of Gali and other areas in Abkhazia, or to the tiny minority of Georgians who were not ethnicly cleansed from South Ossetia by your beloved Russians in 2008, they are forbidden from learning Georgian in school, even in the case of Gali where Georgians make up 90% of the population they are forbidden by the real racists, the Apsu separatists, from studying their mother toungue.

      I know many ethnic Azeri’s, Armenians, Kurds and Russians in Georgia, all agree that things are vastly improved in inter ethnic relations between the Kartvelian majority and the ethnic minorities since the Rose revolution, in particular with regards to the governments policy of protecting minority languages.

      You really are a cretin.

      As for your comment about Stalinist borders, well in one respect you are correct, Stalin chopped off large area’s of Georgia and handed them either to Russia (the Sochi region was 90% Georgians untill the Russians ethnicly cleansed them in 1917-1924), and to Turkey, for example the Laz (ethnic Georgians in what is now Turkey), some predominantly Georgian areas were also chopped off and granted to Azerbaijhan and to Armenia. So much for your putrid repetition of Russian propaganda.

      All you have to do is look at a map of Georgia from the period 1890-1921 to see how much territory the Georgian people lost.

      Actually having ACTUALLY BEEN to Georgia in the period immediately following the rose revolution, and also living in Georgia now, and having friends and relatives in both the opposition and government camps, I suspect I am much much better qualified to judge the Georgian attitude to Stalin, than a Callan method teacher (only failures teach by such retarded systems), who seems only capable of sputing the usual moronic left wing conspiracies against the ever dreaded “neo-cons”.

      Bt the way moron, in the latest history book for Georgian students, Stalins legacy is dealt with, he is described as an evil monster. Period.

      This is as opposed to your beloved Russia where Stalin is lauded.

      So tell me, what is your attitude to the glorificatiopn of Stalin in the newly renovated Moscow metro, or the new “Stalin – Hero defender of the motherland” musuem on the Mamayev Kurgan at Volgograd (Stalingrad)?
      Or on the dozens of other memorials to Stalin that have popped up around Russia since Putin came to power?

      As for “Saakshvili does not care about ordinary Georgians ecept but to mobilise them and use racist rhetoric against those in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as he has on many occasions. This helped to ratchet up the ethnic tensions that led to the events of 2008 and to which Putin responded”

      Did you read the COE report my retarded little friend (one has to feel sorry for someone of such limited intellect as yourself, but I guess you are employed as teacher out of pity, the Poles are a very generous people to the mentally sub standard such as yourself), which put the blame for ratcheting up the tensions pretty squarely on the Russians (a long list of provocative actions stretching back several years) and the separatists, what they did say was that the Georgian President should have shown restraint and REACTED TOO FORCEFULLY to the provocations, which is easy to say in hindisght, but is harder to do when your own citizens are being bombarded with mortars and artillery on a daily basis, and even the Russian head of the “peace-keepers” stated he could not control the separatists or stop them firing at Georgian controlled villages several days prior to the Georgian retaliation.

      Give an example of this “racist rhetoric” please, one from a reliable (ie non Russian) source.

      In reality, the Georgians repeatedly asked for face to face peace talks with Kokoity, these were vetoed by the Russians (gee, I wonder why?).

      You harp on about BTC being the reason for the US support of the rose revolution, maybe so, however you are obviously too intellectually bankrupt to admit that the BTC pipeline was the real reason for Russian agression against Georgia, they want to control the pipeline, and they want to control Georgia.

      Once again you also mention :mass ethnic cleansing of south Ossetians” sorry retard, but it never happened. Ossetians still live in areas such as Gudauri, and there are more Ossetians in Tbilisi than in all of Russian occupied South Ossetia, however, there was ethnic cleansing in South Ossetia, but not until 2008, and it was Georgians who were the victims.




  40. Dude, you’re a Callan method teacher. Doesn’t that say it all?

  41. The kremlin joins third world countries again:

    GENEVA, Jan 6 (Reuters) – The Philippines, Mexico, Somalia and Russia were the most dangerous countries for journalists in 2009, a global media group reported on Wednesday. A total of 132 journalists and support staff were killed or died while working last year, the International News Safety Institute, INSI, said.


  42. Andrew, you wrote:
    [The Gori Statue IS being removed my moronic friend.http://georgiatoday.ge/article_details.php?id=7151%5D
    Bzz, wrong answer, our retarded basket case. That article promising to remove the Stalin monument, was written last August. Guess what – the monument is still there as ever, there is no dismantling work going on now, nor is there any preparation for it. Saakashvili has once again made a promise that he has not kept.
    However, the article in your link has a great quote that is still as true as it was in August:
    “Saakashvili’s statement must have been deliberate, especially if one considers his frequent comments about being born Dec. 21, just like Stalin. In the past Georgians often called “Misha” the second “Soso,” [Stalin] and Saakashvili well understood their fascination with the figure.”

    • Well my little fruit Arthur, considering that the Russians are building new monuments to Stalin, and that the Georgians want to take the last one down, I think that the difference is obvious.

      BTW Saakashvili has repeatedly commented that being born on Dec 21 (like Stalin) has been a hindrance and a curse.

      Stalin is incredibly unpopular in Georgia with anyone who did not suffer under his cult of personality, unlike Russia where he is still venerated, and in particular North Ossetia, where Stalins father came from, where he is truly worshipped.

      To give you an idea, the Russians recently opened a laudatory museum to Stalin in Volgograd/Leningrad, while the Georgians have decided to remove the statue, in fact their have been complaints it has not been done already.

      So Arthur, once you have finished wanking off, go and get an education.

  43. Andrew,

    For a man with the mentality, maturity and intelelct of an underdeveloped 6-year-old child, you will be well advised not to behave in your insulting manner.

    You truly make Georgians look like Neanderthals.

    • Well “Arthur” considering you have the intellect of a retarded 2 year old, that is a compliment.

      BTW, not a Georgian, but I do like them a lot, they are much more civilised than Russians.

  44. Hey, Andrew, look what I found:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/apr/01/georgia.oil / The Guardian, April 2004 /

    By John Laughland, a trustee of the British

    Helsinki Human Rights Group, in Batumi

    In an interview with a Dutch magazine, Sandra Roelofs, the Dutch wife of the new Georgian president, explained that her husband aspires to follow in the long tradition of strong Georgian leaders “like Stalin and Beria”.

    Saakashvili started his march on Tbilisi last November with a rally in front of the statue of Stalin in his birthplace, Gori. Unfazed, the western media continue to chatter about Saakashvili’s democratic credentials…

    In Sunday’s vote the government appears to have won nearly every seat. Georgia is now effectively a one-party state… New world order enthusiasts have praised the nightly displays on Georgian television of people being arrested and bundled off to prison in handcuffs. The politics of envy and fear combine in an echo of 1930s Moscow, as Saakashvili’s anti-corruption campaign, egged on by the west, allows the biggest gangsters in this gangster state to eliminate their rivals.


    Georgia is a place to root for, its nostalgia for the tyrannical Stalin notwithstanding.

    Executive Intelligence Review, December 5, 2003:

    Georgia: Soros, Stalin, And a Barrel of Wine

    By Roman Bessonov

    On Nov. 21, two correspondents of Kommersant Daily traveled from Gori, Georgia, the birthplace of Iosif Stalin, to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi-accompanying a column of opposition activists headed by Michael Saakashvili. After a rally before the huge statue of Stalin, the marchers set out. A 40-liter cask of wine helped them along.

    And now – bark, dog! Earn your pay.

    • Oooh, wow, from 2003, and 2004.

      Sorry Arthur, but Georgians have grown up a lot, and Stalin is not worshipped in Georgia as he is in Russia.

      By the way, interesting how some Russophile idiots quote this “Dutch magazine” interview with the President of Georgia’s Dutch wife, but they never seem to link to it.

      As for John Laughlands opinions on the anti-corruption drive in Georgia, well sorry, but that was an early impression, better to listen to Transparency international, the IMF, the UN, and the like about what has actually ocurred.

      Then there are the studies by groups like CIRA


      CRIA: With regard to your comparative study of corruption in Georgia and Armenia, can you explain its different levels – i.e. where it takes place and in what way – in society? Whom or what does it affect most? Why?

      Stefes: Let me first state that my research on corruption in Georgia focused primarily on the Shevardnadze era. I lived, worked, and researched in Georgia from February 1998 until June 1999. From what I could gather, under Georgia’s current president, Mikhail Saak’ashvili, the situation seems to have improved dramatically. Yet we have to keep in mind that Georgia started from an extremely low level of accountability. Under President Shevardnadze, corruption was the rule rather than the exception throughout the entire state apparatus, from the bottom to the top, from a rural police station to the Minister of Interior. State officials solicited and extorted bribes, misappropriated state funds, and protected corrupt colleagues from prosecution. It was truly a “system of corruption”, taking into account that corrupt activities were not only widespread but that these activities also followed numerous informal rules and norms that were embedded in myriads of networks connecting officials with each other as well as officials with citizens. It was generally understood that “lucrative” positions in the state administration – i.e. those positions that allowed officials to amass illegal income – were not given to the most qualified candidates but to relatives and individuals who paid for getting these jobs. Moreover, state officials colluded with each other. For instance, police, prosecutors, and judges shared bribes from citizens standing trial in return for an acquittal or a lower sentence. Citizens knew the rules of the game as well. Anyone who wanted to start a business, get a passport, avoid a ticket, or receive medical help in a brutal prison system knew how much (s)he had to bribe.

      The situation in Armenia was very similar. I conducted field research in Armenia about six years ago. Yet I can state with some confidence that the situation has not changed much. Armenia continues to suffer from systemic corruption. The main difference between Armenia and Shevardnadze’s Georgia has been the level of government control over the informal networks of corruption, or what I call the “centralization” of corruption. In post-Soviet Armenia, corruption is widespread but the political leadership has succeeded in keeping corruption within limits. It has also made sure that these informal networks of corruption would support the government and not be used to form a powerful opposition to the government. It has prevented corruption from discouraging potential investors. Bribes still need to be paid, but they are predictable and officials who take the bribes usually live up to their end of the deal. Unlike Georgia whose state structures and political authority disintegrated in the wake of a turbulent post-Soviet transition, Armenia has seen a less disruptive transition from Soviet rule, which has allowed Armenia’s post-Soviet leadership to keep the state structure intact and loyal, tightly controlling the formal institutions and informal networks. The weakness of the Georgian state and the country’s decentralized system of corruption thereby formed a vicious cycle, which was only stopped and reversed in the wake of the country’s Rose Revolution in 2003. In contrast, the Armenian government could always rely on a more coherent and loyal state apparatus.

      Systemic corruption pits citizens who lack resources, such as money and personal contacts, against the state apparatus. As they encounter state officials, they will always get the short end of the stick. Citizens with resources, on the other hand, might do quite well under conditions of systemic corruption. In general, the informal institutions of corruption, such as collusion and clientelism, undermine the formal institutions of democracy and market economies, increasing the gap between those who are wealthy and/or powerful (in corrupt systems this often goes together) and those who have neither. A centralized system of corruption, like the Armenian one, might at least moderate the negative economic consequences of systemic corruption, providing a somewhat predictable business environment. On the other hand, the merger of political power and economic resources in a centralized system of corruption does not bode well for consolidating democratic rule. It can be a perfect tool for the government to revert to authoritarian rule. In Shevardnadze’s Georgia, this merger did not take place, which provided the opposition with resources, guaranteeing some degree of political pluralism which eventually culminated in the demise of the Shevardnadze regime. Yet the Georgian economy suffered terribly from a system of corruption that ran out of control.

      CRIA: You have stated that Armenia suffers from “centralized” corruption, while Georgia has a more “decentralized” form of it. Can you briefly define how the respective national governments can tackle these two forms of corruption, and what progress (or lack thereof) has been made over the past two years, especially Saak’ashvili’s campaign in Georgia?

      Stefes: For Armenia, change could come from above – probably, only from above, taking into account the weakness of Armenia’s civil society and political opposition. If the political leadership was ready to fight corruption, it would have the ability to do so. However, this system of corruption has in many ways empowered and enriched elected government officials and top-level bureaucrats. Without outside prodding, the Armenian leadership has few incentives to change anything radical in how the government conducts business. And where should that prodding come from? Most certainly not from Russia whose control over the Armenian economy has rapidly increased in recent years mainly through shady deals. The irony is that it was clearly in Shevardnadze’s interest to fight corruption, and he certainly tried, but his leadership was so weak that he largely failed. Not so his successor Saak’ashvili. By purging corrupt officials and radically reforming parts of the state structure (e.g. the police and tax administration), he dramatically reduced corruption and increased citizens’ trust in the state. There are still state agencies that are heavily affected by corruption – notably the court system – but the Saak’ashvili government has certainly cleaned up quite a bit in a relatively short time. The Rose Revolution, which in large ways was motivated by Georgia’s endemic corruption, provided Saak’ashvili with the opportunity to tackle corruption head on. In so doing, Saak’ashvili has not always followed the rule of law. Yet Georgians have not only tolerated but expected from their new government that it would attempt to eradicate systemic corruption no matter what.

      CRIA: How do the two forms of corruption affect centre-periphery relations, that is, how local-level and national-level governments work together?

      Stefes: In Georgia, President Shevardnadze experienced an utter fragmentation of the state apparatus. This fragmentation included the regional and local administration. He was forced to strike deals with powerful clans outside the capital. These deals provided the clans with a free reign as long as they did not openly oppose the central government and delivered the votes for the president and his party through various illicit practices such as vote buying and the intimidation of opposition candidates. Yet in terms of formulating and implementing coherent economic, fiscal, and social policies, the reach of the Shevardnadze government did not extend beyond Tbilisi. This situation has changed under President Saak’ashvili who has dramatically limited the power of peripheral clans, as Julie A. George elaborates in more detail in her forthcoming book. Concerning the situation in Armenia, the country’s centralized system of corruption, which links regional clans to clans tied to the central government, has helped the political leadership to exert its authority over the local and regional administrations. It should also be mentioned that constitutional changes have increased the formal authority of the central government over regional and local administrations. In short, as my colleague Babken Babajanian convincingly shows in his studies, formal and informal institutions increase the centre’s leverage over the periphery in Armenia.

      CRIA: Can you describe any recurrent strains of authoritarianism in these two countries, especially in light of the past two years in which both governments harshly repressed public protests (e.g. Nov. ’07 in Georgia and March ’08 in Armenia)?

      Stefes: I would argue that in both countries the turn towards and consolidation of democratic rule is an uphill battle. I thereby largely support Steven Fish’s argument. Super-presidentialism, a weakly organized and fragmented opposition, and the adverse impact of authoritarian neighbors – especially, Russia – have been strong barriers to democratization in these two countries. Armenia’s authoritarian leadership can furthermore benefit from a merger of political power and economic resources, as I mentioned earlier, and it can rely on a well-trained and loyal coercive apparatus that has turned out to be a steadfast supporter of the incumbent government in times of crisis (e.g. in 1996, 2004, and 2008). I believe that Georgia has a better chance to establish democratic rule. Western countries’ strong criticism of the Georgian government’s crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in March 2008 has certainly left an impression on President Saak’ashvili. Facing a similar situation this year, he has skillfully let the opposition run out of steam, abstaining from using force. Unlike the Armenian leadership, which can rely on Russia for military, diplomatic, and economic support, Georgia can only turn towards the West for support. After last year’s war with Russia, Georgia cannot find any other foreign allies but the US and European governments and at least the Europeans have at times been sharply critical of authoritarian tendencies under Saak’ashvili. Today, I would classify Saak’ashvili’s regime as semi-democratic; whereas Armenia’s current regime under President Sargsyan is at best semi-authoritarian or “competitive authoritarian”, as my colleagues Steve Levitsky and Lucan Way would call it. I don’t see that this might change anytime soon.


      17 November 2009

      Tbilisi, Georgia – The level of corruption in Georgia has slightly fallen, Transparency International’s 2009 Corruption Perception Index suggests.

      The index – compiled and just released by Transparency International’s Head Office in Berlin, and combining results from seven surveys by six well-known international organizations and financial institutions[1] – ranked Georgia 66th out of 180 countries, and gave the country a score of 4.1, as opposed to 3.9 last year[2].

      Georgia’s slight improvement was due to the detention of corrupt public officials, increases in public servants’ salaries, simplification of administrative procedures, the decrease in the number of licenses and permits, sophisticated business legislation and improvements in economic management systems.

      Areas of concern identified include democratic institutions, civil society involvement in the planning and execution of public policy, competition legislation, property rights and so-called elite corruption.


      Of course there is still a great deal of work to be done in Georgia, but the simple fact of the matter is that they are trying, and succeeding, as opposed to Russia where corruption has bloomed spectacularly under Putins administration.

    • And:

      Since 2004, the Government of Georgia has turned a nearly failed state into a rapidly maturing market democracy. In 2006, Parliament passed sweeping local government reforms designed to decentralize power to the regions and give local governments increased authority. Presidential, parliamentary, and municipal elections have been judged to be largely free and fair, although problems remain with voter lists, abuse of administrative resources, media access, and intimidation of voters. The government has taken action against endemic corruption, completely reorganizing the notorious traffic police. Corrupt judges were dismissed, and a fair examination system for entering the universities was implemented.

      Georgia has received high marks from the World Bank and others on the government’s aggressive anti-corruption campaign. Democratic institutions were strengthened as public service reform gained momentum and judicial reform was acknowledged as a priority. Constitutional amendments signed into law in 2006 increased the independence of the judiciary; further reforms have aimed at increasing respect for and strengthening the rule of law. In July 2007, legislation banning ex parte communication was passed, prohibiting parties to a case from communicating with judges during the pre-trial investigation period as well as during the trial. Legislation requiring the Ministry of Justice to establish a legal aid office was also passed, making available assistance and representation in court proceedings to those who request it. The Georgian legislature has instituted political reforms supportive of higher human rights standards, including religious freedoms that are enshrined in the constitution. The government has launched an aggressive campaign to combat trafficking in persons.

      Georgia is seeking membership in Euro-Atlantic institutions, particularly the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and eventually the European Union (EU), and much progress has been made reforming Georgia’s military. In September 2006, NATO granted Georgia Intensified Dialogue on requirements for membership in the organization.

      The separatist conflict in Abkhazia continues to simmer, with frequent accusations from the Georgian Government that ethnic Georgians in Abkhazia face discrimination from the Abkhaz de facto authorities. The Abkhaz de facto authorities seek full independence from Georgia, and are currently refusing talks following the reassertion of Georgian Government control over the upper Kodori Valley area of Abkhazia in the summer of 2006. Since December 1993, the United Nations has chaired negotiations toward a settlement in Abkhazia. The UN mediator is the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG). The Group of Friends of the UN Secretary General on Georgia (consisting of the United States, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom) supports the UN-led peace process. UNOMIG and the Friends continue to encourage the adoption of confidence-building measures in the region. The Georgian Government has repeatedly expressed its desire to internationalize the CIS peacekeeping contingent but has made no official demand for the peacekeepers in Abkhazia to leave. The United States supports the strengthening of Georgia’s territorial integrity through peaceful means. Unilaterally and as a member of the Group of Friends, the U.S. seeks to advance negotiations toward a comprehensive settlement of the conflict, including on Abkhazia’s future status within Georgia and the safe and dignified return of refugees and internally displaced persons.

      The 1992 Sochi Agreement established a cease-fire between the Georgian and South Ossetian forces, and defined both a zone of conflict around the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali and a security corridor along the border of South Ossetian territories. The South Ossetia region is comprised of a patchwork of Georgian villages interspersed with ethnic Ossetian villages. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) monitored the cease-fire and facilitated negotiations between the Georgians and the South Ossetians toward a comprehensive settlement consistent with Georgian independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. The Agreement also created the Joint Control Commission (JCC) and a peacekeeping body, the Joint Peacekeeping Forces (JPKF). The JPKF is under Russian command and is comprised of peacekeepers from Georgia, Russia, and Russia’s North Ossetian autonomous republic. South Ossetian peacekeepers serve in the North Ossetian contingent. Talks on South Ossetia were held under the auspices of the JCC, with Georgian, Russian, North Ossetian, and South Ossetian delegations participating. The Georgian Government has frequently complained that the current format for talks puts Georgia at a disadvantage, and would like greater participation by the international community.

      In January of 2005, Georgian President Saakashvili put forth a proposal to give autonomous status to South Ossetia within Georgia. The United States welcomed President Saakashvili’s initiative to resolve the conflict through peaceful means and continues to look for ways to encourage a lasting resolution of the conflict. An alternative leader in South Ossetia emerged in November 2006, when ethnic Ossetian Dmitry Sanakoyev was elected in a de facto presidential election, largely by the ethnic Georgian population. Sanakoyev heads a Temporary Administrative Unit in Kurta, South Ossetia.

      The United States supports the territorial integrity of Georgia and supports a peaceful resolution of the conflict within Georgia’s internationally recognized borders, while affording South Ossetia significant autonomy within a unified Georgia. The United States views Georgia’s autonomy proposal as an important step in a peace process that should be marked by direct and frequent negotiations between the two sides. International donors, including the United States, launched an economic rehabilitation project in 2006 to help establish a peaceful and prosperous future for South Ossetia within Georgia.

      Following Russia’s August 7, 2008 invasion, the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have come under the control of Russian forces. Russia’s subsequent recognition of the independence of these separatist regions on August 26 has severely undercut Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Georgian parliament responded to the invasion by proclaiming a state of war, and Georgia formally accused Russia of violating the UN Charter and attempting to overthrow its democratically elected government. Reports of human rights abuses and the displacement of ethnic Georgians from territory controlled by Russian forces continued after the French-mediated cease-fire of August 12, 2008. Russian forces have withdrawn from new checkpoints in the areas adjacent to South Ossetia and Abkhazia, according to the terms of the Sarkozy agreement of September 8. However, Russia has announced its intention to station 7,600 troops in Georgia, 3,800 in South Ossetia and 3,800 in Abkhazia. This is a violation of the cease-fire agreement of August 12, which requires Russia to withdraw its forces to their dispositions prior to the conflict.

      The Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia was one of the most prosperous areas of the former Soviet Union. The political turmoil after independence had a catastrophic effect on Georgia’s economy. The cumulative decline in real GDP is estimated to have been more than 70% between 1990 and 1994, and by the end of 1996, Georgia’s economy had shrunk to around one-third of its size in 1989. Today, the largest share of Georgia’s GDP is produced by agriculture, followed by trade, manufacturing, and transport. Georgia’s main exports are metals and ores, wine, nuts, and aircraft.

      Although Georgia experienced some years of growth in the mid-1990s, it was hit hard by the Russian economic crisis of 1998-99. The later years of former President Shevardnadze’s administration were marked by rampant cronyism, corruption, and mismanagement. Public disaffection with the situation resulted in the Rose Revolution of 2003. The new government, led by Mikheil Saakashvili, promised to reorient the government and the economy toward privatization, free markets, and reduced regulation, to combat corruption, to stabilize the economy, and to bring order to the budget.

      The government has reduced the number of taxes from 21 to 7 and introduced a flat income tax of 12%. It has significantly reduced the number of licenses a business requires, and introduced a “one-window” system that allows an entrepreneur to open a business relatively quickly. Strict deadlines for agency action on permits have been introduced, and consent is assumed if the agency fails to act within the time limit. The government intended to completely eliminate import duties by 2008, which was expected to reduce costs and stimulate business.

      The World Bank recognized Georgia as the world’s fastest-reforming economy in its 2008 “Doing Business” report, ranking it as the world’s 15th easiest place to do business, in the same league as countries such as Germany, Sweden, and Estonia. The World Bank’s “Anti-Corruption in Transition 3” report places Georgia among the countries showing the most dramatic improvement in the struggle against corruption, due to implementation of key economic and institutional reforms, and reported reduction in the bribes paid by firms in the course of doing business.

      Economic growth reached 9.3% in the first quarter of 2008; inflation reached 12.8% in the same year. Recent forecasts are for economic growth to slow in response to the August 2008 conflict and global economic crisis. In response to the damage suffered during the conflict, 38 countries and 15 international organizations pledged to provide U.S. $4.55 billion to Georgia at the Brussels donors’ conference on October 22, 2008. Of the U.S. $4.55 billion, U.S. $2 billion are grants and the rest are low-interest loan guarantees. The pledges amounted to some U.S. $3.7 billion to meet the urgent post-conflict and priority infrastructure investment needs over the coming three years–2008, 2009, and 2010–with the rest going to shore up the financial and banking sector.

      Efforts to improve the efficiency of government operations since the Rose Revolution have required the government to release workers, pushing official unemployment to 18% in 2007. A strongly negative balance of trade has been offset by inflows of investment and assistance from international donors. Although net investment inflows decreased in the immediate aftermath of the August 2008 conflict, private investment is returning to Georgia. The Brussels aid package will mitigate against any loss of private investment in the short term, allowing the government to continue to run a current account deficit of roughly 15%-20% of GDP.

      Improved collection and administration of taxes have greatly increased revenues for the government. In four years, from 2003 to 2007, tax collections went up from 13.8% of GDP to 25.0%. The government has been able to pay off wage and pension arrears and increase spending on desperately needed infrastructure such as roads and electric energy supply systems. The government privatized nine times the value of state-owned assets in 2005 as it did in all of 2000-2003. It expects to privatize all of the largest state-owned industries in the next year, increasing revenues and removing a major temptation toward corruption from the control of state bureaucrats.

      Before 2004, electricity blackouts were common throughout the country, but since late 2005, distribution has been much more reliable, approaching consistent 24-hour-a-day service. Improvements have resulted from increased metering, better billing and collection practices, reduced theft, and management reforms. Investments in infrastructure have been made as well. Hydroelectricity output increased by almost 27%, and thermal by 28%, from 2005 to 2006. Natural gas has traditionally been supplied to Georgia by Russia. Through conservation, new hydroelectricity sources, and the availability of new sources of natural gas in Azerbaijan, Georgia’s dependence on Russia for energy supplies should decrease in the near future.

      The banking sector is becoming more open to competition from foreign-owned banks. The sector is relatively stable, and is supplying more credit to domestic businesses. Credit from Georgian banks to the economy was 15% of GDP in 2005, compared to 10% in 2004–still low, compared to the average in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland for 2005, which was 36%.

      Foreign direct investment (FDI) is the most important source of capital for Georgia and other post-Soviet states. Such investment not only supports new plants and equipment, but usually entails bringing in modern management methods as well. The Georgian Government is eager to welcome foreign investors. From 2002 to 2006, FDI averaged 9% of GDP, with much of it dedicated to the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the South Caucasus gas pipeline. In 2006, which saw diminishing pipeline investment as a function of total FDI, more than half of FDI went to the banking, manufacturing, and tourism sectors, reaching 19.8% of GDP in 2007.

      Georgia faces many challenges in attracting foreign investment and growing its economy. In 2007, more than 23% of the population lived below the official poverty line. With only 4.7 million people, most of whom have little disposable income, it is a small market in itself. The major market to which Georgia has traditionally been linked is Russia. (For example, at one time nearly 100% of the Soviet Union’s citrus fruits were grown in Georgia.) In 2006, trade relations were plagued by politically motivated interruptions when Russia imposed bans on all Georgian exports of wine, fruits and vegetables, and mineral water. In October 2006, Russia severed all direct transportation links, as well as postal service and visa issuance. In addition, Russia undertook a campaign of deportations of Georgian nationals residing in Russia and closed the only legal land border crossing between Georgia and Russia, diverting traffic into the separatist regions outside of Georgia’s control. In light of these restrictions, Georgian businesses are actively seeking new markets for their products in the EU, Eastern Europe, North America, and elsewhere. Reports confirm that the sanctions have not had an adverse effect on the economy; in fact, exports have increased since the beginning of 2006 because Georgia was forced to find alternate markets for its goods.

      The government faces a major challenge in controlling corruption, which is a persistent problem. Shortly after President Saakashvili took office, his administration dismissed nearly the entire police force and replaced it with better-paid and -trained officers. Several high officials have been prosecuted for corruption-related offenses. On the other hand, widespread lack of confidence in the Georgian courts and system of justice is a major obstacle to both foreign and domestic investment. The new government has promised to tackle this difficult task, which requires balancing the objective of judicial independence with honest, fair, and competent decision making.

      The United States and other international donors have targeted foreign assistance to promote democratic reform, resolve regional conflicts, foster energy independence, assist economic development, and reduce poverty. The U.S. seeks to help Georgia consolidate democratic gains since the Rose Revolution. The U.S. Government lends significant diplomatic and funding support to Georgia’s efforts to resolve the separatist conflicts of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. With U.S. Government assistance, Georgia is working to free itself from near total energy dependence on Russian sources of energy. Georgia is one of the first countries to receive a compact, in the amount of $295 million over five years, from the United States Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). MCC offers grant assistance to countries that meet certain requirements for good governance and commitment to reform. In 2004, Georgia’s debt to the Paris Club was restructured. From 2004, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) monitored a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility that was to terminate in 2007. The World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, EU, OSCE, and the UN are all active in Georgia. Their goals are complementary, and include assisting in conflict resolution in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, energy and transportation development, legal and administrative reform, health, and many other areas.


  45. Russian Dissident’s Passion Endures Despite Tests

    Published: January 11, 2010

    MOSCOW — You almost feel sorry for the police officer tasked with detaining Lyudmila M. Alexeyeva as she led an unsanctioned protest on New Year’s Eve. It is not just that at 82 years of age she appears as fragile as a porcelain teacup, or that she was dressed as a Snow Maiden, complete with sparkly hat and adorable fur muff.

    That is part of it. The other part is that as a young woman, Ms. Alexeyeva sat through so many K.G.B. interrogations that she rolls her eyes rather than count them. She was developing a variety of strategies to distract, deflect and otherwise irritate the authorities before the police officer’s parents were out of grade school.

    Upon hearing the details of Ms. Alexeyeva’s arrest, Paul Goldberg — who wrote with her “The Thaw Generation: Coming of Age in the Post-Stalin Era,” her memoir of life as a dissident — started to laugh. “They should actually print out pictures of Lyudmila Alexeyeva and hand them out to all the law enforcement authorities with a note saying ‘Do not arrest this person,’ ” said Mr. Goldberg, now an editor in Washington. “It is not fun to tangle with this person. She will make you feel like dirt, and she will not do it gratuitously. She will do it because you are dirt.”


  46. Thank you, Andrew, for obliging my request for you barking and earning your pay by flooding this thread. Exactly as I asked you to do.

    if you are paid by the word, you have just earned $100 000 from your employers.

    If anybody has a free day or two, can they read Andrew’s dissertation and post a brief summary?

    Can you explain to me, Andrew, why Saakashvili had no difficulty in blowing up the memorial to the Georgian soldiers who defeated the Nazis but hasn’t taken down the huge Stalin monument in Gori that he had promised to take down?

    At least, has he destroyed yet the monument to Stalin erected in Khashuri?


    Stalin Monument Restored in Georgian Town

    A monument to former Soviet leader Josef Stalin was returned Sunday to the main square of Khashuri, a town in Georgia, the Interfax news agency reported.

    • Yes, it was removed quite some time ago.

      By the way dimwit, that is a story from 2000 (Scheverdnadze period), currently the only statue of Stalin on public display in Georgia is in Gori, and its not really “massive” either.

      Really Arthur, you must try harder old fruit.

      • You be the judge:

        • Try again my weedy little friend.

          Compared to most Soviet era monuments its actually quite small.


          • Wasting so much money to restore a hammer and cycle while their workers are unpaid or given reduced hours? Then they have to rent a crane from Finland because the kremlin is not competent enough to build a crane. HA HA


            • LES, these monuments were erected in the 1950s – 1960s.

              But if we are talking about today, building construction in Russia is quite inexpensive, because they employ cheap legal and illegal guest workers from third world countries like Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia and Tadjikistan and second world countries like Turkey.

              • Sorry Arthur, but Russia IS a 3rd world country, just one with nukes.

                Sort of like a megalomaniac Zimbabwe really.

                • Andrew, this still doesn’t change the fact that close to a majority of all Georgian GDP comes from those who work in Russia. Electronic transfers alone account for 5 percent of Georgia’s Gross National Product. But who among illegal seasonal workers in ex-USSR or even in Mexico/USA uses money transfers? Everybody carries cash.


                  Brosse Street Journal
                  Wednesday, May 30 2007

                  Labor migrants send a significant part of their wages back to their families in Georgia. According to the World Bank, electronic transfers from Russia accounted for 5 percent of Georgia’s Gross National Product in 2006, or about USD $365 million. But the World Bank says the amount of money from Russia may actually be much higher, because often migrants bring money with them to Georgia or send it with friends, so it is not officially recorded.

                  Khnkoyan says that the majority of seasonal workers will go to work in Russia this year.
                  For the past year, Khnkoyan has been repairing houses, as he did for the last six years in a suburban town of Moscow, called Mytischi. But this year, he did the work in the southern region of Georgia.

                  “During six months, I could earn $4,000 there [in Russia]. Here I could not earn even $1,500. We can hardly live on this money,” said Khnkoyan.

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