Daily Archives: January 24, 2010

January 27, 2010 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  Vietnam vs. Russia

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Dymovsky in the Dock

(3)  Khodorkovskaya Speaks

(4)  Annals of Russian Barbarism in Chechnya

(5)  Russia’s Mausoleum of Democracy

(6)  Russians:  Unauthentic and Offensive

EDITORIAL: Russia vs. Vietnam


Russia and Vietnam

A report on Business Insider entitled “Russia is Toast” offers a series of arguments in favor of booting Russia out of the BRIC group and bringing in Australia and South Africa to create a new group called BASIC.  Russia, of course, no more bears comparison to Brazil, India or China than it does to the members of the other group to which it claims membership, the European democracies of the G-8.  The item we republish below today on Russia’s “mausoleum of democracy” makes that clear.

The report’s most interesting feature, however, is a pair of charts comparing Russia to lowly little Vietnam — and showing that the little Asian nation handily whips Russia in essential characteristics.  The impact of simply reflecting on the meaning of these graphics is genuinely shocking.

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EDITORIAL: Dymovsky in the Dock


Dymovsky in the Dock

A month ago we reported on the announcement of criminal charges against Russian Police Major Alexei Dymovsky as a result of his YouTube appeal to Vladimir Putin to help him stop corruption in the ranks.

Now, Dymovsky has been arrested.  He faces up to ten years in prison and a period of pretrial incarceration, next to criminals he may have personally jailed, for an indefinite period without bail while he awaits trial.  He’s already been fired for speaking out against the abuse of his profession.

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Khodorkovskaya Speaks

Anastasia Khodorkovskaya

The Moscow Times reports:

Jailed businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky and writer Lyudmila Ulitskaya were jointly awarded a literary prize by the literary journal Znamya on Wednesday for a series of letters between the pair.

For obvious reasons, Russia’s former richest man — who was jailed for eight years on fraud and tax evasion charges that he says were fabricated and is currently on trial for laundering billions of dollars in Moscow — was not at the ceremony. His daughter, Anastasia Khodorkovskaya, accepted the prize on his behalf.

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Annals of Russian Barbarism in Chechnya

Oksana Chelysheva writes us via Facebook:

New proofs of the innocence of the Gataev couple and the role of the security police of Lithuania in fabricating charges against them were announced at the press-conference held in Helsinki on January 22.

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Russia’s Mausoleum of Democracy

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Bring up the topic of democracy in modern Russia with the director of the Anatoly Sobchak Museum of the Foundation of Democracy in Modern Russia, and she blanches. “I’m not a connoisseur of politics,” Olga Bozhchenko says apologetically. And then, “I emphasize the past, not the present. It’s more interesting for me. It’s not that it’s inappropriate. It’s just — I — I have nothing to say.”

She is a young woman, dressed all in black, with thick black-framed glasses, a gold cross at her throat and a blond ponytail down her back, presiding over a museum about current events that exists detached from current events.

The museum was created, Bozhchenko says, “to overcome the negative attitudes of society toward democracy.”

“What’s happening now in the country, people don’t like democracy and they connect it to negative things.”

What negative things are those? She stammers for a moment.

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Russians: Unauthentic and Offensive

Russians: Unauthentic and Offensive

“Unauthentic and offensive” is how ice skating critic Maggie Hendricks describes them.

The people they are trying to honor, Australian Aborigines, can only gape slack-jawed and remark:  ‘They have got the whole thing wrong.  Look how stupid these fellas are.”

They’re Russians, of course.  Specifically, they are Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin, performing at the European Championships in the so-called “sport” of ice dancing.

Required to celebrate a national culture with one of their routines, the pair painted themselves in the ridiculous, childish, crude and gaudy getups depicted at left, complete with plastic leaves, and made a foreign culture the butt of many jokes.

Nice work, Russians.