FRIDAY MARCH 19 CONTENTS
(1) 2,000,000 visits for La Russophobe
(2) EDITORIAL: Dima Medvedev, Shameless Liar
(3) EDITORIAL: China to Russia — Drop Dead!
(4) EDITORIAL: Pathetic Military Failure for Putin’s Russia
(5) Nemtsov thumbs his Nose at Putin
(6) Sberbank: Russia is the CIS Caboose
NOTE: In her latest post on the powerful American Thinker blog, LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld reviews heartening signs of weakness and decline in Putin’s Russia, and discouraging signs of craven weakness from the American president. Her simultaneously running item on Pajamas Media compliments this with details about the furious assault on the Kremlin being waged by an unbowed Mikhail Khodorkvosky.
On March 17th, two weeks shy of its fourth birthday, this blog was pleased to welcome it’s 2,000,000th visit. No Russia politics blog in world history has ever posted 2 million visits on a public counter, so this is a milestone not just for us but for Russia blogs in general. We would like to take this opportunity to warmly thank all those who have supported our efforts with their visits, their publicity efforts, their invaluable comments and the their contribution of blog posts. This milestone is as much their achievement as it is ours. And we would like to urge each one of you, as we challenge ourselves, to redouble our efforts, since the battle with neo-Soviet Russia is far from over. Nonetheless, our impressive progress makes it clear that it is a battle we can win.
Dima Medvedev, Shameless Liar
Once again, Russian “president” Dima Medvedev has been proved to be a shameless liar. The Moscow Times reports:
Russians voted last weekend in the first major elections since disputed polls in October triggered calls from President Dmitry Medvedev for smaller parties to receive better representation in regional legislatures dominated by United Russia. Voters elected eight regional legislatures and 12 municipal legislatures on Sunday. About 84,000 candidates were running for about 40,000 open seats, according to the Central Election Commission. But despite Medvedev’s rhetoric, regional authorities have continued to back the ruling United Russia party and derail the campaigns of other parties ahead of Sunday’s elections, opposition activists and election monitors said.
United Russia swept the results across the board, except in the city of Irkutsk in Siberia, where outraged voters, shocked by the Kremlin’s decision to reopen a vast paper mill that pollutes Russia’s sacred Lake Baikal, rejected Putin’s party of power. But whom did the choose instead? Communists! That’s right, the only alternative allowed by the Putin regime to its own party of power and sham sycophant parties is the very party that destroyed and buried the USSR not so very long ago.
So much for Medvedev’s claims that this year’s elections would be somehow different from those of the past!
China to Russia — Drop Dead!
For those Russophile scum who like to suggest some type of anti-Western alliance between China and Russia might be forming, events last week must have come as a very rude awakening.
China announced an ambitious new plan to connect itself through a massive and impressive network of high-speed rail lines to the rest of the world, specifically Asia and Europe. And Russia? Left out in the freezing Siberian cold.
Soon, you may be able to ride a bullet train at over 200 mph from London to Beijing. Moscow? Not so much.
Pathetic Military Failure for Putin’s Russia
Despite having had charge of Russia for more than a decade now, and despite the surging price of oil, the New York Times reports that the state of Vladimir Putin’s military-industrial complex is so pathetic that Russia has no other choice than to buy its arms abroad, even from NATO countries who are, according to Putin, Russia’s sworn enemies.
Doesn’t it occur to anyone in the Kremlin that buying weapons from your enemies isn’t such a good idea? What if they decide to stop selling you spare parts?
Vladimir Kara-Murza, writing on World Affairs:
Contrary to popular belief, not all Soviet bloc countries were one-party states. Some had “multiparty” systems, with the Communists formally sharing power with other political groups: People’s Party and Freedom Party in Czechoslovakia, Democratic Party and United People’s Party in Poland, the Christian Democratic Union and Liberal Democratic Party in East Germany. Indeed, the Socialist Unity Party did not even have an overall majority in the East German “parliament”, which was for years chaired by CDU politician Gerald Goetting. Needless to say, all “non-communist” parties faithfully towed their governments’ (and Moscow’s) line, for all intents and purposes serving as subsidiaries of the regime.
Paul Goble reports:
Russia, despite “all its imperial ambitions and pretensions,” is no longer “the locomotive” for the economies of the Commonwealth of Independent States but instead, as the current economic crisis has shown, is now “the caboose,” according to a study prepared by Moscow’s Sberbank.
In a report released last week, that bank’s Center for Macro-Economic Research compares the vectors of economic growth in the former Soviet republics and draws from that two conclusions, neither of which will be welcome to the powers that be in the Russian Federation.
On the one hand, the bank’s experts found, the other petroleum-exporting countries have performed far better than Russia, thus showing the regular claims by the powers that be in the Russian capital that the situation in the Russian economy now is largely the result of falling energy prices on the world market. Such claims, the report shows, in the words of commentator Maksim Blant, thus are shown to be “a lie and an attempt to escape responsibility for [their] failed economic policies.” Indeed, he says, the report’s greatest contribution would be realized if it led the government and analytic community to stop invoking “raw material dependence” as an explanation.