Daily Archives: June 3, 2010

June 7, 2010 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  Another Shocking new Low for Putin’s Russia

(2)  Putin is Exterminating Russia’s Mayors

(3)  The Kremlin’s Failure in Kaliningrad

(4)  Shameless Barbarism in the Russian Duma

(5)  CARTOON:  My Name is Vova

(6)  French Open Recap

EDITORIAL: Russia sinks to a Pathetic new Low


Russia sinks to a Pathetic new Low

Vladimir Putin’s neo-Soviet KGB state sank to a shocking new low last week when it turned to public advertisements on the Internet to locate an attorney to defend it from a burgeoning onslaught of lawsuits in the European Court for Human Rights, suits which Russia routinely loses at great financial and public relations cost.

Is Putin’s Russia really so absolutely incompetent, clueless, and friendless, that the only way it can find competent lawyers is by advertising for them as if it were any other helpless company adrift on the legal seas?  Are there really no lawyers employed by the Kremlin itself who could be called upon to do battle in the courtrooms of Strasbourg?

It is that clueless, and there are no such persons.  Russian “law schools” exist in name only, since the very definition of “law” is unheard of in Putin’s Russia.  Russians simply have no idea whatsoever how to behave in a real Western courtroom where judges cannot be bribed and government edicts have no force. 

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Putin is Exterminating Russia’s Mayors

Nikolai Petrov, writing in the Moscow Times:

In its ongoing attempt to transform the political landscape, the government has been stepping up efforts to replace directly elected mayors with nominees from among State Duma deputies — who themselves are put in office not by voters in the districts they represent but as appointees from party lists.

This process has spread to a number of major cities. The direct election of mayors has been canceled in Nizhny Novgorod, Chelyabinsk, Ulyanovsk and Penza. The vote has also been canceled in cities that never even held direct elections, such as Ufa and Saratov as well as in Kazan, where direct elections had been expected to start. Under discussion now is the cancellation of the elections in Yekaterinburg, Perm and Volgograd, among others. According to various estimates, the direct election of mayors has been canceled in a third to half of all municipalities already.

Governors, who are appointed, and United Russia functionaries share a common interest in this change. Incumbent mayors have even given their support in return for assurances that they can remain in office.

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The Kremlin’s Failure in Kaliningrad

Vladimir Ryzhkov, writing in the Moscow Times:

Developments in Kaliningrad clearly demonstrate that the “power vertical” built over the past decade — a system for permitting unchecked bureaucratic abuses — is not only failing to effectively manage the regions but is, to the contrary, itself the cause of serious social and political conflicts that are making the system increasingly unstable. What’s more, the boundless appetite of monolithic state capitalism — the economic foundation of that “vertical” — has already exceeded the limits of what even the most long-suffering Russians can tolerate.

The paralysis of state systems and the limitless greed shown by officials for monopolistic businesses are manifested most severely on the periphery of the country — in Kaliningrad and Vladivostok. There, the population and the business community pay a much higher price than the national average for maintaining parasitic bureaucracy and monopolies. This is a result of their geographic remoteness and, in the case of Kaliningrad, the fact that it is a distant exclave surrounded by foreign countries that are EU member states.

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Shameless Barbarism in the Russian Duma

The Moscow Times reports:

United Russia has prevented lawmakers from debating police violence at a Moscow opposition rally this week, a Communist State Duma deputy said Thursday.

City police detained more than 150 people at an unsanctioned rally Monday on Triumfalnaya Ploshchad, and about two dozen people claimed that they were beaten or attacked as law enforcement officials tried to break up the event.

Sergei Obukhov, a Duma deputy with the Communist Party, tried to discuss the rally at the chamber’s session on Wednesday, he told The Moscow Times.

But his microphone was switched off by Duma Deputy Speaker Oleg Morozov, a United Russia deputy, because the issue was not on the formal agenda, Obukhov said.

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Playing on the story were reported in our lead editorial in our last issue, Ellustrator has the Russian “prime minister” being asked at the pearly gates “Sorry, what’s your name” and the PM replying:  “Vova Putin, tyrant.”

French Open Recap

Confronted by Nadia Petrova, who can dare say Russian women are not the most beautiful in the world? And how about their fashion sense?!

Well, it wasn’t pretty. No, it surely was not.

Last year’s French Open finalist Dinara Safina of Russia was ousted in her very first match at this year’s tournament, ousted by a player who became the second-oldest in the tournament’s modern history to win as much as a single match.


Then there was the woman who defeated Safina to take the title last year, Svetlana Kuznetsova.  She was ousted in her third match of the French Open by a player not seeded in the top 25.

Ouch, ouch.

So, just for starters, neither of the two Russians who contested last year’s final, widely seen as one of the most pathetic and unwatchable in the history of grand slam finals, managed to get as far as the fourth round this year.

Ouch, ouch, ouch. But there was more, oh, so very much more carnage to report.

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