Latynina on the Mine Explosion

Latynina with Condoleezza Rice

Hero journalist Yulia Latynina, writing in the Moscow Times:

On the night of May 8-9 at the Raspadskaya coal mine in the town of Mezhdurechensk in the Kemerovo region, two huge explosions took the lives of 90 miners. Because the country was celebrating Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s World War II victory that day, few paid any attention to the blasts. While Muscovites enjoyed the grandiose May 9 festivities, poor families in Mezhdurechensk mourned the loss of their loved ones.

After the tragedy, surviving coal miners and their families blocked a Siberian railway and clashed with riot police in Mezhdurechensk. After that incident, Kemerovo Governor Aman Tuleyev declared that they were not real miners, and that “enemies” were behind the protests.

The miners elected Tuleyev, a Communist, as governor during the chaotic years under former President Boris Yeltsin. Back then, when the miners blocked the railways, they were seen as working people protecting their rights. Now, under Putin’s power vertical, Tuleyev brands the miners as enemies of the people.

Miner strikes were common in the early 1990s, but once the mining sector was privatized, starting in 1998, the country had not seen strikes for 12 years. But the situation changed as a result of the crisis, and coal mining regions are now faced with problems directly linked to Putinomics.

The problem is that Russian miners earn about 67 percent less and pay double the amount for food than their counterparts in the West.

Why does food cost so much in Russian stores? The high prices reflect the direct cost to the economy caused by extortionists, who have multiplied and earned record profits during the Putin years. Like other large, profitable companies, Evraz must pay Putin’s bureaucrats large bribes and kickbacks to stay in operation, and these heavy “corruption taxes” are built into production costs at Raspadskaya.

The difference between ordinary Russians, who have to pay exorbitant prices for consumer goods, and Evraz, which has to pay exorbitant prices for licences and equipment, is that Evraz owner and billionaire Roman Abramovich can afford to pamper himself every now and then. For example, he just bought another luxurious chateau — the latest one in Nussdorf, near Vienna. It is also worth noting that Putin himself was seen standing on the veranda of that luxurious home during his visit to Austria in April. Just 20 days before the catastrophe in the Raspadskaya mine, we saw a wonderful picture: Putin was grinning from ear to ear on the veranda of a home Abramovich purchased with the money he saved by paying his miners miserly wages.

If your coal is sold for the standard price on world markets and the owner of the mine is forced to pay enormous bribes to state officials — and at the same time he wants to buy a luxurious chateau in Nussdorf — the only way to save money is by cutting the miners’ wages. To earn enough money to feed their families, the miners put wet rags over the methane sensors. Normally, the sensors would automatically shut down the mine when methane levels have reached dangerously high levels. But the wet rags shut down the sensors, not the mine, and as a result the entire mine is blown to pieces.

By dispersing protesters, Putin is placing wet rags on another sensor — the people’s anger.

37 responses to “Latynina on the Mine Explosion

  1. But of course Mr Aman Tuleyev it’s all a CIA plot. Ask any stupid goon of a person, who will know that!

    Aye, FSB, RTR – VoR, dimi and last but not least Dimitry? what say you all?

    I’m all ears eagerly awaiting your replies!!!

    • Voice of Reason


      It is a duty of every honest citizen to mourn the tragic deaths of miners in mine explosions. As a concerned Russian citizen, Yulia Latynian spoke out in support of the victims’ families in Russia. And as a concerned American citizen, I am speaking out in support of the victims’ families in the recent tragic mine and oil rig explosions here in USA:

      Mine rescue effort turns to recovery
      W. Va. crews begin bleak task of bringing bodies to surface

      No ‘miracle’: Missing miners found dead

      Sat., April 10, 2010

      COMFORT, W.Va. – Time stopped five days ago for the families of 29 coal miners killed in the devastating explosion at Upper Big Branch mine.


      Washington Post:

      EUNICE, LA. — Earlier, back at the funeral home, Jones had introduced himself to the family of Blair Manuel, one of the 11 victims of the oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico last month.


      What bothers me is the question why no American citizens here – be they on the LR team or the average posters – have shown any concern for these American tragedies. Why such crocodile tears of concern over the fate of Russian miners and such indifference towards the deaths and suffering of fellow Americans? And the most tragic thing is that these people actually accuse others of “treason” to America.

      • Stick to the subject matter of this blog, you goons.

        And as for you ReTaRded, Voice of unbelievably stupid Reason! do you realize that these miners were actually – to use Tuleyev’s words in that he branded – “the miners as enemies of the people”.

        I’ll have to write a letter to comrade Putin to point out that he has an “enemy of the people” right inside his propaganda machine.

        Of course the families and friends of the deceased miners deserve the deepest sympathies for the loss of their loved ones. And this goes without saying in a tragedy of this magnitude.

        After all what were those words of wisdom by J. Stalin?
        “one death is a tragedy, but a million deaths is a statistic.”

        But than? since when have “a few death” meant anything to comrade Putin and his cohorts of gangsters?

        • Voice of Reason

          Bohdan: “After all what were those words of wisdom by J. Stalin?
          “one death is a tragedy, but a million deaths is a statistic.”

          Nope. Stalin never wrote or said these words. He was not into statistics. These words were uttered first in 1958, long after Stalin’s death, most likely by some British propagandist:

          This quotation has popularly been attributed to Stalin as early as 1958, but, at this time, there is no evidence that it is genuine.

          • Well, defending the great Russian hero Stalin again I see VOR.

            How Russian, you guys do love him though.

            After all, there are more than 200 monuments to him in Russia, with more going up every day.

          • Voice of Reason

            Andrew, a year or two ago Saakashvili announced that he was finally taking down that big monument to Stalin in Gori. You even bragged about it:

            Andrew // September 13, 2009 at 11:47 am
            Stalin is despised here (they have removed the statue from Gori)

            Really?! That was a lie, Andrew, wasn’t it? The statue is still there as always, isn’t? Stalin is revered in Georgia, unlike the anti-Nazi heroes, whose monuments are being destroyed by the Nazi-adoring Saakashvili:

            Andrew wrote: “[Red Army veterans] are no different to the Nazi veterans. ”

            So, Andrew, you consider the Soviet veterans of World War 2 to be like Nazis?

            Andrew // December 21, 2009 at 5:53 pm
            BTW, in WW2 Georgia lost over 300,000 men from 700,000 who went to the front, out of a population of around 4,000,000.

            And they are all like Nazis?! All 700 000 of them? Is that why Saakashvili is so tenderly and lovingly protecting the Stalin’s statue in Gori, while blowing up huge memorials to the Georgian veterans of World War 2?

            How does it work? Why would Georgian heroes, who defeated Nazi Germany, are considered to be much worse than Stalin? Why did Saakashvili rush to blow up this monument for his own birthday, to the anti-Nazi heroes that he even killed two people as “collateral damage”?

            Andrew // December 21, 2009 at 5:53 pm
            Yes, two people died (mother and child) when a pieve of concrete from the memorial struck their house.

            Andrew // December 22, 2009 at 8:41 am
            The monument was to GEORGIAN soldiers who died in WW2, around 300,000 of them, whose contribution would have been significant regardless of wether they served in a separate national army or as part of a larger force.

            Kate // December 23, 2009 at 6:24 am
            But this monument was the monument dedicaited to all Georgians who fell fighting against the Nazis as I understand? Why was it demolished?? It makes no sense to me? Do this soldier not deserve credit for fighting against the Nazis?!

            Indeed, why did Saakashvili blow up the Memorial to all Georgians who fell fighting against the Nazis? And why is he keeping the Stalin’s monument proudly standing in the center of Gori? Clearly, Saakashvili feels much more sorry for the Nazis who lost WW2, than for the victims of Stalin’s repressions.

            • Yes, they have not taken it down, it is a great shame in my opinion.

              However, Russia has over 200 monuments to Stalin, and is putting up dozens of new ones.

              Stalin was a hero in the eyes of his subjects. His propagandists were so adept at portraying Stalin as the red czar that half the country wept when he died in 1953.

              And now, half a century later, do the Russians still believe in his genius? There is no doubt that Stalin is back in vogue.

              More than a dozen new statues of Stalin have been erected in Russia in the recent past, in addition to the more than 200 that still existed in the country: in the Siberian diamond-mining town of Mirny, at High School No. 2 in Chelyabinsk in the Ural Mountains, and in the Siberian village of Kureika, where Stalin spent his exile under the czar.

              ‘Stalin Raised Us to Be Loyal’

              Once again, Moscow residents can read the phrase “Stalin raised us to be loyal to the nation” when they walk into the Kurskaya metro station in Moscow, where a frieze bearing the inscription has now been restored. And anyone who is interested can visit the website of notorious Stalin apologists or, in any bookstore, choose among dozens of works of lightweight Stalin literature, arranged next to the shelves of bestsellers, with titles like: “Stalin’s Great War,” “Stalin’s Terror: The Great Lie of the 20th Century” or the five-volume work “200 Legends About Stalin.”

              Volume 14 of Stalin’s “Collected Works,” which were no longer published after 1951, is now on the market again. There is even an 800-page book that contains all the information that was meticulously recorded in notebooks in Stalin’s outer office, such as the names of people who went in and out of the general secretary’s office, together with the exact times of their arrival and departure. A new schoolbook goes so far as to praise Stalin as an effective manager.

              Stalin critics, on the other hand, are having a tough time of it. A grandson of the dictator is suing the liberal radio station Ekho Moskvy for €258,000 in damages, because the broadcasters claimed that Stalin approved the executions of 12-year-olds in the 1930s. And in Arkhangelsk, a history professor was arrested for investigating the mass deportations under Stalin and — absurdly — charged with having violated the “private sphere of Soviet citizens.”


              So, while you complain about one statue in Georgia, take a look at the hundreds of memorials to Stalin, the great Russian hero, in Russia.

              • Voice of Reason

                Andrew, why is Saakashvili so preoccupied with destroying all memory of anti-Nazi heroes? Why can’t he just resign to the fact that his idol, Adolf Hitler, has lost WWII and that he, Saakashvili will never be able to make his fellow Georgians share his love for Nazism?

                • Actually moron, there are dozens of memorials in Georgia, take Victory Park in Tbilisi for example.


                  As you can see, it is still there as of 9th May:


                  Only one memorial was demolished, not all of them.

                  How do you explain that you consider Georgians to love Stalin when they have one statue in Gori for 4.5 million people, and no new ones, while Russia has more than 200 existing statues, with over a dozen new ones, not to mention the Moscow Metro ode to Stalin, laudatory text books for schools describing his excellent leadership, and all the opinion polls showing that Russians love and respect him:

                  Russian youth: Stalin good, migrants must go: poll

                  (Reuters) – Russia’s youths admire Soviet dictator Josef Stalin — who presided over the deaths of millions of people — and want to kick immigrants out of Russia, according to a poll released on Wednesday

                  The poll, carried out by the Yuri Levada Centre, was presented by two U.S. academics who called it “The Putin Generation: the political views of Russia’s youth”.

                  When asked if Stalin was a wise leader, half of the 1,802 respondents, aged from 16 to 19, agreed he was.

                  “Fifty-four percent agreed that Stalin did more good than bad,” said Theodore Gerber, a sociologist from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Forty-six percent disagreed with the statement that Stalin was a cruel tyrant.”

                  Stalin, who took over from Vladimir Lenin, built a system of terror and repression in which tens millions of people died or were killed. He died in 1953.

                  “What we find troubling is that there is a substantial proportion of young people in Russia today who hold positive or ambivalent views on Stalin and his legacy,” Gerber said.

                  “We think it would probably be more appropriate if there was more condemnation of the Stalin era.”

                  The poll showed 17 percent of the young people disagreed that Stalin was responsible for the imprisonment, torture and execution of millions of innocent people, while 40 percent thought his role in the repression had been exaggerated.

                  The majority of respondents thought the collapse of the Soviet Union was a tragedy and two thirds thought that America was a rival and enemy. Only a fifth viewed Iran as a potential rival or enemy.

                  Most young people also wanted immigrants kicked out of Russia: 62 percent said they agreed with the statement that the Russian government should evict most immigrants.

                  But 64 percent agreed with the idea that immigrants should be allowed to have Russian citizenship if they abided with Russian laws and customs.

                  The poll showed the biggest concern for the youth was the problem of drugs, followed by unemployment, poverty, corruption, education, crime, HIV/AIDS and ecology.


                  • Voice of Reason

                    So, why did Saakashvili blow up the Kutaisi Memorial to WWII Heroes as a self-present for his own birthday, but kept Stalin’s monument standing?

                    • Why do Russians love Stalin?

                      Why do you keep putting up new monuments to Russia’s greatest son?

                    • Voice of Reason

                      Andrew, I asked you my question: “So, why did Saakashvili blow up the Kutaisi Memorial to WWII Heroes as a self-present for his own birthday, but kept Stalin’s monument standing?

                      This probably the third time I have asked it. And every time, your only response is “But you lynch Negroes!”

                      First of all, even if Russians did love Stalin, that would not excuse the Georgian love for both Stalin and Hitler and hate for anti-Nazi heroes.

                      Second, the issue here is not which population has higher percentage of Stalin-lovers – Georgians or Russians – but whose President is a Nazi lover.

                      And my question remains: why is Georgia’s President Saakashvili so hateful of anti-Nazi heroes that he rushed to demolish their Monument for his birthday?

                      And, BTW, thank you for proving to us that Saakashvili is viewed in Georgia as “second Stalin”:

                      Andrew // January 8, 2010 at 5:15 am
                      Well Naylor, guess you don’t keep up with current events. The Gori Statue IS being removed my moronic friend.
                      Bidding goodbye to Stalin’s heavy hand on Georgian psyche:
                      “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 Saakashvili the second Stalin” and Saakashvili well understood their fascination with the figure.”

                  • Andrew,

                    Why is an airport in Texas named after an American war criminal?

                    • Don’t twist my words baboon! Where did I say that J. Stalin was into statistics – prove me wrong liar, but don’t come up with trash that is you down to a “T”.

                      Tell me liar did or did not Stalin also say “or we will shorten you by a head”? which only had the one real meaning? and which he was fond of using as he used it on a number of occasions.

          • Don’t twist my words baboon! Where did I say that J. Stalin was into statistics – prove me wrong liar, but don’t come up with trash that is you down to a “T”.

            Tell me liar did or did not Stalin also say “or we will shorten you by a head”? which only had the one real meaning?

            • LR please delete the above incomplete comments. Thank you.

              • LaRussophobe responds:

                Your posts are becoming more and more insane everyday, you demented ape.

              • Voice of Reason


                You are a living counter-example to Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest.

                • Pray tell! what has Darwin got to do with the subject matter of this blog?, which is “On the night of May 8-9 at the Raspadskaya coal mine in the town of Mezhdurechensk in the Kemerovo region, two huge explosions took the lives of 90 miners.”

                  Back to swinging from branch to branch in the forest for you, ape.

                  Will you ever learn to stick to the subject matter of LR’s blog – obviously not and furthermore, I seriously doubt it.

      • I agree with Voice of “Reason” the phrase about statistics is very unlikely to come from Stalin – for whom one death has never been a tragedy. Now, pray tell, Voice of “Reason” what do your comments have to do with this topic: miners’ protests in the aftermath of the explosion and Latynina’s thoughts regarding same?

        In fact, your first comments (about the explosions in West Virginia) only go to prove Latynina’s reoccurring theme: what describe the government is not the unexpected events (accidents, crimes, financial malfeasance) – what describes the government is the reaction to such events. When you show me that US government calls the miners “drunk rioters” I will accept any modicum of similarity.

        The rest of your comments diverge so far from the topic of the post that it’s hart to avoid the thought that you are doing it intentionally; because you don’t have anything better to say. Same for calling yourself Voice of Reason – otherwise nobody will think that there is any reason in your words. I hope I am wrong!

        • No one is interested in your opinion, Mr. Qana-massacre-worshiper.

        • In case anyone here who wishes to see the truth of Felix’s preferred criminal terrorist state and its hideous crimes, look no further:

        • Феликс,

          Мы гууские дгуг дгуга не обманываем!

        • Voice of Reason

          go to prove Latynina’s reoccurring theme: what describe the government is not the unexpected events (accidents, crimes, financial malfeasance) – what describes the government is the reaction to such events.

          I suspect that you and I have total different definitions of what constitutes proper “reaction”. To me, the empty words and crocodile tears of regret and condemnation are nothing to be proud of.

          And the term “unexpected events” is highly subjective. What is an “unexpected event” to a dumb irresponsible baboon, is “a failure to prepare” for a responsible man.

          For example, the AIG/Wall Street collapse came as totally unexpected to brainless idiots. But I certainly saw it coming, and sold out all my real estate properties and withdrew money form the stock market back in 2005. Goldman Sachs traders too knew that the collapse was coming, and that’s why they went short on all these mortgage-backed derivatives both against AIG and against their own clients.

          What describe the government are not the crocodile tears of regret, but the lessons it learns from the past mistakes and “accidents” and the concrete actions it takes to avoid them in the future.

  2. Francis Smyth-Beresford

    I would have said you were all mouth, but I suppose you know yourself best.

    Ah, yes; Yulia Latynina. She’s certainly a fine entertainer, and probably developed a flair for dramatic narration as a fiction writer. She’s cranked out 20 fiction books – I don’t know when she finds time for investigative reporting. I do know she’s not a miner, although that certainly doesn’t disqualify her from reporting on mine disasters.

    Gregg Bluestein and Vicki Smith presumably are not miners either, but they report the explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia last month was also due to high methane levels and an owner who cut corners with workers’ safety in favour of profits. Although nobody gave them a “hero journalist” award, or the “Freedom Defenders Award” (the U.S. likes to give that one to people who are willing to complain about their country; Garry Kasparov is a recipient as well), there’s no reason to believe they’re lying.

    I’m waiting, though, for the USA to come up with an award for Americans who are willing to go to other countries and criticize their country. So far they seem content to refer to them as traitors.

    But Yulya Latynina doesn’t limit herself to disaster reporting. She’s a bit of a political problem-solver as well; such as in this article, in which she argues that poor people shouldn’t be allowed to vote, because they can’t be trusted to make wise choices. That’s nonsense, of course, because she was speaking of the Ukraine, and there are no poor people in the Ukraine, Georg told me so. What she probably meant, but was too polite to say, was that poor people who don’t vote for pro-Western leaders shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    She had a dim view of other world leaders, though, claiming that Angela Merkel, Jacques Chirac, Silvio Berlusconi and George W. Bush had all been “recruited” by Putin’s KGB charm.

    It’s a shame that Izestia is spoken of here, somewhat contemptuously, as “The Gazprom-controlled “Izvestia” newspaper” and I know you’ve mocked it yourself. That was probably an oversight, because Latynina worked there from 1995 to 1997. In fact, she’s never done anything much except work for television and newspapers. Oh, and write fiction. Sort of the Russian Sarah Palin, except Palin is attractive and doesn’t actually write fiction. Well, not for money, so far.

    • how does Latynina, without even blushing, meet with Condoleeza Rice, an American war criminal?

      Does Latynina apply the same standards to the Americans that she tries to apply to Russians?

    • And I , FSB, on the other hand would have said you were all no brains, but I suppose you know yourself best.

    • Voice of Reason

      Latynia is cool. A real expert on science and technology. Her name is immortalized in the annals of science by her famous sentence: «Она металась, как стрелка осциллографа, то вверх, то вниз» – “She was darting like an arrow on the oscilloscope, up and down, up and down”

      And her contribution to forensic sciences can also be hard to deny, as in:

      “”и тут в него попала пуля. Она попала самым удивительным образом, в кончик мизинца, вспорола весь палец, вышла с тыльной стороны ладони и ударилась о затвор автомата. Там она раскололась на три части, и две из них срикошетили Джамалудину в плечо, а мягкий свинцовый шарик внутри пули отлетел и угодил чуть выше брови” – “”And then the bullet hit him in the most amazing way: into the tip of his little finger. It ripped the whole finger open, came out of the back of his hand and hit the gate of his machine gun. There it split into three parts, and two of them bounced into Jamaludin’s shoulder, while the soft lead ball inside the bullet bounced off and landed just above his eyebrow”.

      Try making THAT into a realistic movie, LucasFilm!

      • Givi Hachikian

        Прямо как из Довлатова:

        “Светлые локоны горничной выбивались из-под ее кружевного фартука… “

      • Юля Латынина, и тут в него попала пуля translation

        Just a little search tip for google.

    • Russian speakers:

      You can read about latynina on wp, but lurkmore article is much better:

  3. Dima’s comments remind me the early 80s, and “popular” jokes about Sakharov (what’s his real name? Sakharovich. And the really real name? Tsukerman).
    Explains why Russia – vast, resource-rich country with thousands of intelligent people that could be at the same level as India and Brazil – has been in the filthy ditch for a century and continues to enjoy the backwaters of history.

    • Voice of Reason

      Explains why Russia – vast, resource-rich country with thousands of intelligent people that could be at the same level as India and Brazil – has been in the filthy ditch for a century and continues to enjoy the backwaters of history.

      List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita

      51 Russia 14,920
      56 Latvia 14,255
      75 Brazil 10,514
      128 India 2,941

      So, yes, I guess Russia can self-destroy itself to become like India, but it will be easier for Latvia to do so: it is less economically developed than Russia (unless you consider over-borrowing as “economic development”) and thus has less to lose in order to become like India.

    • OMG. “Thousands of intelligent people” among our tiny 140 million population:)

      Thanks for your generous evaluation of mental abilities of us Russians, oh Felix the Thinker!

      And, some day those “thousands” of intelligent Russians could reach the level of Indians or Brazilians! What a fascinating, breathtaking perspective!

      You’re cool! Give us more of that:D

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