June 3, 2010 — Contents

FRIDAY JUNE 3 CONTENTS

(1)  EDITORIAL: Russia and the Ape who Governs Her

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Saakashvili, Supremely Triumphant

(3)  EDITORIAL:  Volodya “Girly Boy” Putin

(4)  Cracks in Putin’s Corrupt Foundation revealed in Sochi

(5)  Russia Brainwashes another Generation

18 responses to “June 3, 2010 — Contents

  1. They want to buy ships from France, and now this?

    Russian Technologies picks Boeing for airplane orders

    http://www.kyivpost.com/news/russia/detail/68202/

  2. Always refreshing to see this sort of cross-cultural exchange, free of bigotry, xenophobia and irrationality:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/01/arts/dance/01bolshoi.html

    Young Americans Embrace Rigors of the Bolshoi.

    MOSCOW — The curtain rose on the Bolshoi Ballet’s revival of “Esmeralda,” and soon boys and girls dressed in Renaissance costumes took to the stage, pairing off in a spirited dance that they had learned in the Bolshoi’s own hothouse of an academy.

    They were the future of Russian ballet, heirs to centuries of glorious Russian tradition, an elite few who had been chosen from across Russia.

    Except, that is, for the one from Montana.

    There he was, a boy named Julian MacKay, who not long ago was gathering eggs from a flock of chickens behind his home in Bozeman, who had turned his life upside down by moving to this strange land with its even stranger language to pursue his dream. All of 12 years old, he was having his Bolshoi debut in Moscow.

    Leaving the stage, he glanced at the audience. “That was when it caught up with me that I was right there, an American at the Bolshoi,” he said.

    The ballet pipeline used to run mainly in one direction. Russians — Baryshnikov and Balanchine, Godunov and Nureyev — went (or defected) to the West. But now a handful of young Americans are venturing the other way, apprenticing themselves at the academy here, which has long been the sweat-and-tears training ground for many of Russia’s ballet greats.

    Julian is among the youngest, but there are a few others, including a Texan, Joy Womack, who arrived at 15 on her own last fall. She has also appeared on the Bolshoi stage and has become one of the best students in her class, her teachers said.

    For the Americans, both the culture shock and the rewards can be profound. The school, formally called the Moscow State Academy of Choreography, was established in 1773, and while it accepts foreign students, it is not about to change its ways.

    • Interesting question: Can you find a similar example of Russians showing their appreciation for American culture as published in a major Russian newspaper “free of bigotry, xenophobia and irrationality”? Or is this a one-way street?

      • Voice of Reason

        Such things happen on a daily basis in Russia, where there is much more interest and appreciation towards the international culture than in USA . American films, American writers, American composers, American artists – they are all popular in Russia. Here is the first sample article from earlier this spring that Google gave me:

        http://www.kommersant.ru/doc.aspx?DocsID=1334088

        Comedy Premiere

        Moscow’s Pushkin Theater showed “Barefoot in the Park” – a new version of the popular play by the king of the American commercial comedy Neil Simon. Director by Evgeny Pisarev treated it as a classic of the genre.

        American playwright Simon is a real Broadway “heavyweight”, he could be called a master, a virtuoso and a classic of commercial drama. This dish, which the audience is bound to enjoy, is created out of the most simple ingredients.

        • Thank for the assist, VOR.

        • VOR & ALEXEI:

          You are a perfectly matched pair of absolute jackasses. The story references an American TRAVELING TO RUSSIA and there experiencing DIRECT RUSSIAN CULTURE and then telling Americans how great it is in one of their most mainstream newspapers.

          What you refer to is the BASTARDIZATION of an American play by translating it into Russian and showing it IN RUSSIA. It is like Americans “appreciating” translations of Putin into English performed by Americans that don’t remotely resemble the real thing.

          REAL American culture, you brainless, hopeless jackasses, would be AMERICAN actors playing the roles IN ENGLISH and IN AMERICA with a Russian comic actor traveling to America to join them, then telling a papers like the NYT (if Russia had such a paper) how great Americans are. See? Get it? NOW FIND THAT KIND OF STORY, WE DARE YOU.

          What’s more, Kommersant is and an always has been AN OPPOSITION PAPER with a miniscule circulation. How about linking to a major MAINSTREAM paper controlled by the Kremlin or to Russian TV. Can you?

          You are a sick, stupid perfectly matched pair of cretins.

  3. Russian mayor accused of beating elderly woman

    MOSCOW, June 1 (Reuters) – The mayor of a Russian town is accused of beating a 69-year-old woman who was slow to open the door when he showed up at his office late at night, Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday, June 1.

    The woman was on the night watch at the administration building in the Pacific town of Shakhtyorsk when mayor Vladimir Khapalov showed up after midnight one night last November, Interfax said.

    Citing local prosecutors, it said Khapalov struck her with the door when she opened it, and hit her two more times.

    He then kicked her in the hip area after accusing her of sleeping on the job and demanding she resign, Interfax said.

    At one point the woman fell and hit her head on a radiator, the report said. She suffered scrapes, bruises and concussion. Interfax said the woman was hospitalised for 20 days afterwards. Khapalov has now been suspended and faces a criminal charge of violent abuse of authority.

  4. http://nohotair.typepad.co.uk/no_hot_air/

    United Airlines Friday said it completed the first flight by a U.S. commercial airline using natural gas synthetic jet fuel.
    1.

  5. Les:

    During the 2nd world war the USSR got hold of a B-17 flying fortress and made a bolt for bolt copy. It never flew because it was too heavy. Building airplanes is not easy.

    There is a saying in Seattle that a Boeing engineer will sell his grandmother for one more lb. [without weakening the structure].

    • Voice of Reason

      During the 2nd world war the USSR got hold of a B-17 flying fortress and made a bolt for bolt copy.

      Why would USSR need to copy B-17? If Americans claim that they were doing everything to help their ally USSR defeat Nazi Germany, USA would have given USSR all the B-17s it needed.

      • Well, the Russians did not use strategic bombers Voice Of Retardation.

        Their doctrine of air support was to use it all in a tactical role on the front line.

        By the time the Russians started asking for the B-29, the war was pretty much over, and the west was starting to view Russia more realistically.

        The aircraft copied was actually the B-29, which the Soviets produced as the TU-4

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-4

        I mean, we all know your understanding of history is very poor, but come on.

        The USSR received thousands of B-25’s, P-39’s, P-40’s, Spitfires, Hurricanes, & C-47’s, not to mention tens of thousands of GMC trucks, Grant, Sherman, Matilda, Valentine, and Churchill tanks.

        Joseph Stalin, during the Tehran Conference in 1943, acknowledged publicly the importance of American efforts during a dinner at the conference: “Without American production the United Nations could never have won the war.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lend_Lease

        • A russian understanding history is an oxymoron.

          EDITORIAL

          Kremlin says 90% of Russians are Idiots

          As you well know, dear reader, we are loathe to agree with a single word uttered by Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin. But when one of Russia’s leading “educators,” Leonid Poliakov, a dean of history at the Moscow State Pedagogical University, tell us that 90% of Russians are idiots, we have to grudgingly make room for the possiblity that he could be right.

          Robert Amsterdam has noticed that the Kennan Institute is about to publish a new book reviewing post-Soviet history textbooks. In it, Poliakov states that Russian textbooks should present “a positive unity with past” because ”90 percent of students are not meant to be tasked with thinking critically about history, but need only to be presented with one, simple, positive narrative.”

          In other words, they’re idiots. Their thoughts and insights about the meaning of Russian history are without value, so they don’t “need” to know the truth. They only need to be fed a stream of palbum like a goose being fattened for fois gras, so that they can become helpless cogs in the neo-Soviet machinery.

          And, mind you dear reader, this is policy. The new book meticulously documents how Putin’s KGB regime has systematically purged facts from Russian history teaching, replacing them with propaganda about how Russia is a wonderful paradise ruled by wise patriots leading it to ever greater glory. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!

          Anyone who has studied actual Russian history (granted, they’d almost have to be someone who’s not actually Russian) knows that his shameless, unbridled contempt for the common man is a theme in Russian governance that runs right the way back through the Soviet era to the tsars. Russian rulers, while professing love for their country, have always viewed the population they govern as worthless idiots to be exploited and manipulated, not respected and nurtured, a part of the problem rather than a part of the solution.

          Maybe that’s the reason that Russia has suffered two catastrophic national collapses in the past 100 years alone, and is hard at work right now on making it a hat trick.

          EDITORIAL

          Kremlin says 90% of Russians are Idiots

          As you well know, dear reader, we are loathe to agree with a single word uttered by Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin. But when one of Russia’s leading “educators,” Leonid Poliakov, a dean of history at the Moscow State Pedagogical University, tell us that 90% of Russians are idiots, we have to grudgingly make room for the possiblity that he could be right.

          Robert Amsterdam has noticed that the Kennan Institute is about to publish a new book reviewing post-Soviet history textbooks. In it, Poliakov states that Russian textbooks should present “a positive unity with past” because ”90 percent of students are not meant to be tasked with thinking critically about history, but need only to be presented with one, simple, positive narrative.”

          In other words, they’re idiots. Their thoughts and insights about the meaning of Russian history are without value, so they don’t “need” to know the truth. They only need to be fed a stream of palbum like a goose being fattened for fois gras, so that they can become helpless cogs in the neo-Soviet machinery.

          And, mind you dear reader, this is policy. The new book meticulously documents how Putin’s KGB regime has systematically purged facts from Russian history teaching, replacing them with propaganda about how Russia is a wonderful paradise ruled by wise patriots leading it to ever greater glory. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!

          Anyone who has studied actual Russian history (granted, they’d almost have to be someone who’s not actually Russian) knows that his shameless, unbridled contempt for the common man is a theme in Russian governance that runs right the way back through the Soviet era to the tsars. Russian rulers, while professing love for their country, have always viewed the population they govern as worthless idiots to be exploited and manipulated, not respected and nurtured, a part of the problem rather than a part of the solution.

          Maybe that’s the reason that Russia has suffered two catastrophic national collapses in the past 100 years alone, and is hard at work right now on making it a hat trick.

    • They also copied C-47, the most important transport aircraft of all time

  6. Interesting article on the predictable results of Russian strong arm tactics and poor diplomacy in central asia, also interesting are the graphs, which show Russia massively overproducing in relation to it’s reserves.

    Struggle for Central Asian energy riches

    By Richard Galpin
    BBC News, Moscow

    A year ago, the Kremlin issued a stark warning: that growing competition for control of global energy resources could spark wars on Russia’s borders, including those in Central Asia.

    “Problems that involve the use of military force cannot be excluded, that would destroy the balance of forces close to the borders of the Russian Federation and her allies,” said a key Kremlin strategy document assessing the main security threats of the coming decade.

    Just 20 years ago, Russia and the energy-rich countries of Central Asia, such as Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan in the South Caucasus, were all united, as parts of the Soviet Union.

    Moscow would have had unfettered access to their oil and gas reserves.

    But the Central Asian states realise one of their greatest strategic strengths as independent countries is playing off the big global powers now scrambling to buy their precious energy supplies.

    So, Moscow now finds itself in fierce competition with the big players: China, the US and Europe.

    “Russia’s overall position in Central Asia is shrinking,” says Mikhail Kroutikhin, editor-in-chief of the Russian Energy Weekly.

    “Russia is in retreat and the Chinese are jumping on the big opportunities.”

    New ‘Great Game’?
    Rivalry in the region is often compared with the 19th Century British-Russian imperial rivalry nicknamed the “Great Game”.

    The past year has seen some key moments in the new energy “Great Game” in Central Asia, with the first pipelines being commissioned that take oil and gas east to China, instead of north and west.

    From Kazakhstan, 200,000 barrels of oil are now being pumped every day across the border into the western Chinese province of Xinjiang, and there are plans to double this pipeline’s capacity.

    From Turkmenistan, a pipeline carrying gas to China via Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan was opened last December by the Chinese President Hu Jintao. It could satisfy around half of China’s current demand by the time it reaches full capacity in 2013.

    Turkmenistan’s President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov called the deal “political” as well as commercial and heaped praise on China’s “wise policy”, saying it had become “one of the key guarantors of global security”.

    Turkmen tensions

    With this agreement, Russia’s stranglehold on supplies from Turkmenistan, which has the fourth-largest reserves of gas in the world, was broken.

    And while China and its new Central Asian energy partners were locking themselves in an ever-warmer embrace, Moscow found itself at loggerheads with its erstwhile client state.

    Having agreed two years ago to pay a much higher price for Turkmen gas, to ensure it remained a loyal supplier, the Russians suddenly shut the taps 12 months ago, causing the pipeline to explode.

    Analysts believe Moscow had decided it did not need the gas because of the downturn in global demand and prices during the economic crisis.

    Even now it is only taking a third of what it was expected to buy, angering the Turkmen government and pushing it further into the arms of the Chinese.

    “As regards Russia’s role in the region, it has taken a step back in energy,” says Chris Weafer, chief strategist at Uralsib Bank in Moscow.

    He believes it was not just the global economic crisis that prompted this.

    It was also, he says, because Europeans searching for gas supplies for their planned Nabucco pipeline were offering much higher prices for Central Asian gas.

    “The game changed because of Nabucco. Up to 2006, Russia could buy cheap gas from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan – $50 for 1,000 cubic metres and then sell it to Europe for $250.

    “But from the start of 2008, Russia had to agree to pay European prices – $300 per 1,000 cubic metres.”

    “Gazprom was not making any money out of it. So the political will to be involved has abated. Russia has let the Chinese into Central Asia.”

    And that is something Moscow may ultimately come to regret, because it also wants to be a major supplier of oil and gas to China

    With China already heavily investing in the two most important Central Asian energy suppliers, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, Russia may struggle to compete.

    China flexes its muscles
    Moscow has had agreements with Beijing to build a gas pipeline into China since 2002, but the two sides have been haggling ever since over the price of the gas supplies.

    Analysts say a deal may finally have been done – on the condition that the gas comes from a field and pipeline that are exclusively for Chinese use.

    Officials also hope the first oil pipeline between the two countries will be completed by the end of this year.

    But some analysts question whether Russia will have sufficient reserves to supply the gas pipeline, given the expected decline in its production over the next 20 years and the lack of investment in new fields since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

    “It [the pipeline to China] will have to tap reserves already going to Europe,” says Mikhail Kroutikhin.

    “It is not economic, but Prime Minister Putin wants it to be built.”

    South Stream

    Another project which Mr Putin is determined should go ahead is Russia’s South Stream gas pipeline, across the Black Sea and into the heart of the European Union.

    The rivalry between this and Europe’s alternative plan – the Nabucco pipeline – is one of the most intense in the Caspian Sea region.

    The Europeans, who want to break free from their growing dependence on Russian energy supplies, desperately need supplies from the region to make the Nabucco pipeline viable.

    And the Russians are trying to thwart this.

    One key battleground is Azerbaijan, which has yet to declare whether it will feed Nabucco with its gas. Its decision is critical.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/asia_pacific/10131641.stm

  7. When the even the FSB admits there is a potentially severe security problem at the Sochi winter Olympics, well you do have to worry……

    FSB: Terrorists Seeking Nuclear Materials

    Last updated (GMT/UTC): 03.06.2010 06:10
    Aleksandr Bortnikov, the head of Russia’s FSB security service, has said that terrorists are seeking “access to nuclear, chemical, and biological components” across the former Soviet Union.

    Bortnikov gave no further details about the attempts or which groups had sought the materials.

    But he added that militants intended to sabotage the Winter Olympics that are slated to be held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi in 2014, according to AFP.

    Bortnikov made the remarks at a press conference in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg after a gathering of security officials from former Soviet republics in the Commonwelath of Independent States (CIS).

    http://www.rferl.org/content/FSB_Terrorists_Seeking_Nuclear_Materials__/2060011.html

  8. It is a bad sign that the demonstrations were measured in hundreds. They should have been in the tens of thousands and the march should have been on the kremlin which should have been torn down.

    • Aww, Ronnie, I’m so sorry that the Russian people don’t follow your every whim. If there was reason for the protests to be measured in the tens of thousands, then they would be. Otherwise, this just tells me that other than than sham liberals who suck at the teat of the western media and policy establishment, an overwhelming majority of people are quite content with the situation in Russia.

      Once again, Ronnie, the thing about democracy is that it doesn’t always subscribe to your personal views, and those who are elected are not those desired by Ron, but rather by the majority of the people in a said country. That’s a principle you have to het used to.

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