Monthly Archives: April 2010

May 3, 2010 — Contents

MONDAY MAY 3 CONTENTS

(1)  EDITORIAL:  Russia, into the Totalitarian Mire

(2)  EDITORIAL:  LR Rates the Russia Blogs

(3)  Russia ravages Children, America saves Them

(4)  More on Obama’s Shocking Nuke Fraud

(5)  Awful Russia breaks another Heart

EDITORIAL: Russia descends further into the Totalitarian Mire

EDITORIAL

Russia descends further into the Totalitarian Mire

Late last year, when the Reporters without Borders organization released its latest index of press freedom, we learned that Russia had fallen a shocking 12 places from its ranking the prior year to #153 in the world out of 175 countries under study, for the first time dropping below the crazed dictatorship of Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus.

Last week, Freedom House released the latest results of its own ongoing study of press freedom.  According to FH, Russia is doing even worse than RWB imagines.  Russia is 26th out of 29 nations in Eastern Europe and a jolting, appalling #175 overall out of 196 nations under review.  At rank number 175, Russia is tied with the crude African banana republic of Gambia according to FH’s seasoned analysts.

These ratings are eerily similar to other ratings held by Russia. It also doesn’t rank in the top 100 nations of the world in criteria like life expectancy or fertility.  These facts are indicative of absolute, total failure on the part of the so-called “government” of Russia to build a successful, civilized state.

We cannot help but ask ourselves:  Do the people of Russia have any shame at all?

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EDITORIAL: LR Rates the Russia Blogs

EDITORIAL

LR Rates the Russia Blogs

It goes without saying, of course, that La Russophobe is the best Russia blog in the known universe.  Considering the amount of original content (including translations), overall traffic and comment traffic, no other blog in existence can touch us.

But what about the others? Just because we’re the best doesn’t mean there aren’t a signficant number of other important Russia blogs out there, and today we take time out to recognize them. The comforting fact is that even if this blog were to go dark tomorrow by some malignant act of the Putin Kremlin, perusing these other ten blogs together would be a perfectly adequate substitute for LR. Each of them offers its own unique and uniquely valuable contribution to the world’s understanding of the true nature of Russia.

In rank order the top ten English-language Russia blogs in the world today based on our criteria (again:  amount of original content, comment and overall traffic and contribution to the world’s insight and understanding of Russia) are as follows:

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Monstrous, Drunken Russia ravages its Children, Heroic Americans rescue Them

The New York Times reports:

Hundreds of adopted children, most of them Russian, have come here to northwest Montana to live and perhaps find healing grace with the horses and cows and rolling fields on Joyce Sterkel’s ranch. Some want to return to the families that adopted them, despite their troubles.

Others, like Vanya Klusyk, have seen far too much of what the world can dish out.

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More on Obama’s Shocking Nuke Fraud

Dmitri Simes, writing in Time magazine:

President Obama has presented the new arms control treaty he signed in Prague on April 8 as a “historic accomplishment” in both nuclear security and U.S. relations with Russia. But there are disturbing signs that the Obama Administration is overselling its progress with Russia, raising unrealistic hopes that Moscow would genuinely help in addressing the danger from Iran, the most likely nuclear threat to America and its allies.

The administration, eager to show foreign policy successes, argues that the new treaty with Russia, which calls on both sides to reduce their nuclear forces to 1500 warheads, reflects a significantly improved relationship that will help to deliver Moscow’s support for strong sanctions against Tehran. But it is not clear that ties between the White House and the Kremlin have improved quite that much. Russian President Dmitri Medvedev’s performance in Argentina, right after the nuclear summit, demonstrates that ties between Washington and Moscow fall well short of partnership. “If somebody is bothered” in America by Moscow seeking a greater role in Latin America, he said, “we want to spit on that.” His statement led the news on Russian state television. Later in his “Spit Speech,” the Russian President made clear that his government does not favor “paralyzing, crippling sanctions” — the only sanctions that could deter an Iranian regime determined to have a nuclear weapons capability.

Despite this, Administration officials describe the arms control talks as a victory for Mr. Obama and a model for winning Russian support for sanctions. As the New York Times reported, they claimed that “Russia backed down” after the President made clear to Mr. Medvedev that the U.S. would not budge on Russia’s insistence to establish a link between offensive and defensive strategic systems. Off the record, Administration officials told reporters in Washington that the successor to the START treaty was so advantageous to the U.S. that the Russian media was hesitant to praise it.

The facts are quite different, however, and the Administration’s handling of the agreement evokes strong echoes of history.

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Awful Russia breaks another Heart

Julia Ioffe (who blogs at Moscow Diaries), writing in the Washington Post:

About a month ago, I came home to find an odd e-mail from Alexander Parkhomenko, a man I’ve never met. “Is everything really so bad in Russia?” he wrote.

I have been reporting from Moscow for the past six months, and Parkhomenko had been reading my work. He liked the stories, he said, “but one gets the sense that you were brought back here by sheer force to this hated country, back to the funny, stupid Russians, back to a horrible city unfit for life, and that your ‘love/hate relationship’ means mostly the latter.”

This was not the first time a Russian had attacked me — in an only-I-can-make-fun-of-my-family sort of way — for being critical of Russia, which to many people here is indistinguishable from hating Russia. But something about the way Parkhomenko cut to the central dilemma of my place in Russia shook me.

Because I am back. And — aside from the detail that I now live on the same street, in the same building, where I spent part of my childhood and from which my parents, Jewish refugees, took me almost exactly 20 years ago — I am back in a way that is very easy to resent.

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April 30, 2010 — Contents

FRIDAY APRIL 30 CONTENTS

(1)  EDITORIAL:  The Toxin of Russian Racism

(2)  Russia’s Rampaging Racism

(3)  Yes! Ban those Russians!

(4)  Russia, land of “haves” and “stolen from”

(5)  Pasko and Illarionov

(6)  USA boots Russia out of Fed Cup