We were so appalled by the following item from the Russian press that we have taken the time to translate it and held our editorials from this issue, allowing this revolting material to speak for itself. No further words from our editorial board are necessary. This is truly an epic new low in the sordid history of the Russian nation.
500 Ruble’s Worth of Shame
January 21, 2010
by Ekaterina Butorina
Translated from the Russian by LR Staff
RIA Novosti's photojournalist Andrei Stenin
The Municipal Court of the Tver district of Moscow yesterday set a precedent fraught with serious potential for Russian authorities to impose a new wave of crackdowns on civil liberties. According to the decision, journalists who attend unauthorized opposition political rallies in order to report on what transpires can be treated as if they were participants in the demonstration itself, and therefore as criminals subject to prosecution just like the “perpetrators.”
The first to be accused of such “wrongdoing” RIA Novosti’s photojournalist Andrei Stenin. On January 20th, a magistrate found him guilty under Art. 20.2 of the Municipal Administrative Code of participating in an unsanctioned demonstration, held in mid-December last year in front of the presidential administration building, and fined him 500 rubles. The Director of RIA Novosti called the incident “a dangerous precedent” and expressed his intention not only to appeal yesterday’s “global solution” but also to bring to the incident to the attention of business leaders and journalistic colleagues.
The head of Department Internal Affairs’ Moscow Division, Vladimir Kolokoltchev, stated that “law abiding citizens have nothing to fear when participating in rallies as police officers act against them in strict accordance with the law.” Tell that to Stenin, who was acting in accordance with the Constitution and the Law on Mass Media and who as a result was arrested and convicted as a direct result of police action.
Alexei Bayer, writing in the Moscow Times:
Four years ago during the XX Winter Olympics, the Russia House was by far the hottest party venue in Turin. It even had an open-air ice skating rink on the roof, where skaters were treated to free shots of vodka and an unending parade of scantily clad young women. There were plenty of brutish middle-aged men, too, but they somehow seemed less scary — and therefore more fascinating — since then-
President Vladimir Putin had curbed the excesses of Russia’s wild capitalism.
The Estonian blogger at Blue, Black & White Alert tells of his meeting with Josef Stalin:
I recently received a Facebook friend request from Iosif Vissarionovič Džugašvili Stalin.
Yes, I’m aware: alter egos are proliferating on FB; it’s become a miniature version of the Internet with trolls and even viruses running amok. Everybody can have a second joke profile, it seems.
Still, who knows? Maybe it WAS Stalin. People come back. The rumour in this case was that the Iosif Stalin page was created by a bunch of Italian students. And, you may know what happened in one of Umberto Eco’s novels — a bunch of academic types fed a hodge-podge of classic conspiracy theories into a computer…and they became true.
So my first reaction was to become frightened. Besides killing 40 million in a detached, banal manner, this guy probably started the whole tradition of polonium ingestion and brutality that persists to this day in Russia. He’s the kind of guy who’s not smart enough to invent a gas chamber but will get envious when he hears someone else has done it and takes it out on everyone around him — before maybe stealing the gas chamber for his own use.
Posted in russia, stalin
It appears that the Chechen lunatic Ramzan Kadyrov grows more dangerously insane by the hour. The New York Times reports:
Chechnya’s powerful president, Ramzan A. Kadyrov, backed down from a conflict with human rights defenders and journalists on Tuesday, withdrawing several libel suits at the request, aides said, of his mother.
It was a rare concession from Mr. Kadyrov, who has exercised nearly unchecked authority over the volatile southern Russian region. The lawsuits were prompted by accusations that the Chechen leader has employed kidnapping, torture and murder in his Kremlin-supported effort to grind down a lingering Islamic separatist movement in the region.
“His mother insistently asked him to do this,” said Alvi A. Karimov, Mr. Kadyrov’s spokesman, adding that prominent Chechen cultural figures and clergy had also advised him to drop the suits.
Posted in chechnya, russia
Julia Ioffe reports from Moscow:
I’ve just spent the last couple of days holed up inside Moscow’s World Trade Center for the Troika Dialog Russia 2010 Forum, an economic conference where I was surprised to hear some refreshing honesty from the Russian political elite who made appearances there.
Anatoly Chubais, who heads up the state nanotech corporation and was an influential reformer in the 1990s, said, “We have to admit that we have fallen very far behind.” And by “far” he means about 30 to 40 years. Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov was equally harsh. “We need to change our behavior, drive safely and not, as is customary in Russia, haphazardly,” he said. He admitted, too, that the Russian bureaucracy — “an unfriendly administrative system” — is a stultifying force that even the elite has to do battle with, and that social protection is not a public good here. “Even if you have money, you have no sense that the security services will protect your rights,” he said.
U.S. News and World report reveals the details of a very interesting new Russian addition to the world automobile market:
The press release is titled, “Armored Car Without Penis. Let’s Save the Whales.”
We promise we did not make this story up. That’s about all we can promise you.
A Russian SUV builder has abandoned its plans to line the interior of its new luxury SUV with whale penis leather. Thanks to Pamela Anderson. And Greenpeace.
The Dartz Prombron Monaco Red Diamond Edition, Jalopnik reports, was designed to be “The world’s most expensive ultra-luxury SUV.” Planned for a 2010 debut, the $1.5 million vehicle was to feature “White gold diamond and ruby encrusted badges,” Kevlar body panels and “Gold-plated bulletproof windows.”
No, we don’t know how you’re supposed to see out of a gold-plated window; perhaps the Kevlar body panels are there because you’ll hit stuff. It does come with three bottles of Vodka, after all.
Most importantly, the car was to feature a “Whale Penis Leather interior.”
Enticing, isn’t it? Even Stephen Colbert wanted one.
But it was not to be.
The upper sign on the tree reads “Yanukovich” while the lower reads “Tymoshenko.” The skier wears the colors of Ukraine.