June 7, 2010 — Contents

MONDAY JUNE 7, 2010

(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

38 responses to “June 7, 2010 — Contents

  1. In watching the 10-minute Putin-Shevchuk exchange, which was posted on the Ukrainska Pravda website (http://blogs.pravda.com.ua/authors/leschenko/4c02f005c7c66/), I couldn’t help but think about Natalia and Rostyk, a young couple from St. Petersburg I met at a small family-run restaurant recently in Venice. A conversation that lasted a few hours over several liters of red wine underscored why so many Russians have been unable to sum up the courage to protest Putin’s policies, and provided a picture of the life that awaits Ukraine if it forges too close of relationship with its eastern neighbor.

    “People in Russia are scared,” said Natalia, 27. (So they don’t have trouble at home, I won’t use Natalia’s and Rostyk’s last names). “They live in fear every day. Nothing is secure in our country, not jobs, not real estate, not life itself. People won’t speak up because they are afraid of losing their jobs, they are afraid of losing their homes. The police are unscrupulous; they take bribes and don’t help you. There is no criticism of the government on television; we get commercials and happy shows. We have no future in Russia. We live in a police state.”

    Much of the fear is because Putin, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Russian energy giant, Gazprom, along with the man who runs it, Alexei Miller, control everything.

    “Did you know Miller just built himself a villa?” Natalia asked. “There are signs everywhere in Russia that say, ‘Gazprom creates prosperity.’ I know it creates prosperity — for Putin, for Medvedev, for Miller. Ok, I’m glad for them, but where is my piece of bread?”

    She said Western analysts who believe Medvedev is more liberal than Putin and wants to introduce a democratic society are wrong. The relationship between the two men is good cop, bad cop.

    “There is no difference between the two. They are all corrupt,” she said. Natalia paused for a long moment and took a sip of wine. “We know Putin’s history. Someone who was in the KGB has no moral authority to run a nation.”

    Boris Nemtsov, the Russian opposition figure who has appeared on several political talk shows in Ukraine, is not seen by the masses in Russia. We hear only what the government wants us to hear,” she said. “I only know what is happening in the world because I am able to go to Europe. I read the newspapers here.”

    http://www.kyivpost.com/news/opinion/op_ed/detail/68588/

    • LES,

      Thanks for this informative article, it goes a long way in helping to clear up the average Russian’s view of their motherland, and “why so many Russians have been unable to sum up the courage to protest Putin’s policies, and provided a picture of the life that awaits Ukraine if it forges too close of relationship with its eastern neighbor.”

      The key word in this instance is FEAR! ““They live in fear every day. …. People won’t speak up because they are afraid of losing their jobs, they are afraid of losing their homes. …. We have no future in Russia. We live in a police state.””

      But the most compelling quote was ““We know Putin’s history. Someone who was in the KGB has no moral authority to run a nation.”

      It is clear that Putin got used to power whilst serving in the KGB. Or to use that old saying “Power corrupts, while absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

      Who knows? maybe someday another power crazy Russian will rise to the occasion to overthrow Putin and take over the mantle of new leader. Or better still an honest Russian with nothing to lose, will rise to the occasion and assassinate ‘Vova’.

      As I doubt very much that Putin will die of old age whilst still leader of the “Mother of all Russias’ “.

  2. Voice of Reason

    Andrew // May 7, 2010 at 12:13 pm
    Well, at least they are not putting up new monuments to Stalin, unlike you Russians.

    http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local-beat/Stalin-Now-Part-of-D-Day-Memorial-95496544.html

    Stalin Now Part of D-Day Memorial

    Thu, Jun 3, 2010

    … there is now a bust of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in place at at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va.

    The controversial piece arrived just in time for Sunday’s 66th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy during World War II.

    Stalin’s bust joins those of presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

    The National D-Day Memorial Foundation defended its decision, insisting the bust is not meant to honor Stalin.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC Washington

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_D-Day_Memorial

    National D-Day Memorial

    The National D-Day Memorial is a national war memorial located in Bedford, Virginia. It serves as the national memorial for US D-Day veterans.

    • Well, bad decision to say the least.

      However, the memorials in Russia are meant to honor Stalin.

      See the Moscow metro and Volgograd museum for details….

      • Well, it does look bad, but maybe not so bad if you think of the context. There were three Big Threes during the war: FDR/Churchill/Stalin (most of the time), Truman/Churchill/Stalin (very briefly) and finally Truman/Attlee/Stalin (also very briefly).

        They just cannot omit Stalin when they put up the busts of the rest, it would be historically untrue. I don’t see how this can be avoided.

        So, I think the bust of Stalin is simply to acknowledge that he was a member of those grand alliances. It’s definitely not to honor him, as you perspicaciously noticed Andrew.

        If Churchill, the great statesman that he certainly was, managed to hold his nose and deal with Stalin because he did not have good options, then we can tolerate this bust.

        • Voice of Reason

          Here is what Churchill said to Stalin and FDR:

          http://books.google.com/books?id=M_6cljKX0uUC&pg=PA315

          It is no exaggeration or compliment of a florid kind when I say that we regard Marshal Stalin’s life as most precious to the hopes and hearts of all of us…. I walk through this world with greater courage and hope when I find myself in a relation of friendship and intimacy with this great man, whose fame has gone out not only over all Russia, but the world.” (Sir Winston Churchill, The Second World War: Triumph and Tragedy, Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1953, p. 315)

          • When Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, Winston Churchill, a vehement anti-Communist, famously stated “If Hitler invaded Hell, I would at least make a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons,” regarding his policy toward Stalin.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill#Relations_with_the_Soviet_Union

            • Voice of Reason

              So, Saakashvili is like Churchill: both love Stalin.

              The difference is that Churchill hated Hitler, while Saakashvili adores Hitler, as exemplified by Saakashvili reneging on his promise to blow up Stalin’s monument in Gori and instead blowing up the Kutaisi Monument to the 400,000 Georgian heroes who died fighting Hitler. What shame.

              • Actually VO-Retard, most Georgians are proud of their veterans, but they hate the Red Army.

                After all, it was the Red Army which invaded them (without excuse) in 1921, and subjected them to 70 years of further Russian oppression.

                • Voice of Reason

                  So, Georgians hate the Georgians who died when the Red Army defeated Hitler, but they love Stalin?

                  What prevented Saakashvili from fulfilling his order to take down Stalin’s statue, and what prompted him to rush to blow up the monument to anti-Nazi heroes in such a hurry that he even killed some civilian(s) in the process?

                  • No moron, they are proud of having helped to defeat Hitler, and are proud of their veterans, but they would have preferred their men to die in the service of freedom, rather than in the service of Russian imperialism.

                    And as previously mentioned, there are dozens of war memorials in Georgia that remain untouched, such as “Victory Park” in Vake, Tbilisi.

                    Meanwhile, Russians adore Stalin, as evidenced by the more than 200 statues and memorials to him still in Russia, plus the dozen or so new memorials to him since V Putin came to power:

                    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.

                    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,692971,00.html

                    As for loving Hitler, well look at the veneration of Hitler by Russians (Russia does have over half of the worlds neo-Nazi’s VOR).

                    Hitler’s Ghost — Russia Becomes Fertile Ground for Neo-Nazis

                    Are Russians destined to be the successor to Adolph Hitler’s Germans? Hitler died by his own hand in April 1945, but now his spirit has come back in the form of young Russian neo-Nazis, who could number 50,000 or more, according to the Moscow Bureau of Human Rights.

                    When he was only minutes away from death, Hitler reportedly said, “The German people were not worthy of me.” The 50,000 Russian Nazis who salute the swastika and intone the “Hail Hitler,” on the other hand, might be. They ignore their grandfathers and grandmothers, who sacrificed their lives to destroy Hitler’s hordes.

                    Race was the issue that propelled Hitler into supreme power in January 1933. The year 1932 was horrendous because too many jobs vanished, while those jobs that were available went to those whom Hitler considered “foreigners,” in good part Jews. Hitler preached that the Germans and other Nordic peoples (including the British) were a super-race of warriors and geniuses that could fight through any challenge.

                    In the 1936 Olympics Hitler refused to shake hands with Jesse Owens, the greatest black runner of his time. And he also refused to believe that so many Jewish geniuses got Nobel Prizes.

                    In Europe the meaning of race is generally different from that in the United States, where “race” means skin color. In Europe, race means roots, which results in many races. In the 1830s in the Austrian empire, renowned Catholic bishop Josip Strossmayer propagated that every person has only one “mother tongue.” Though he had a German name, his mother tongue was Slavic.

                    Some researchers believe “Hitler” is a Czech name, and, if that is the case, Hitler was a genetic member of the vast Slavic linguistic family in Europe. Hitler’s friend from his hometown of Linz, August Kubizek (a Czech name), also came to Vienna and they roomed together.

                    But Hitler also read about the great gods of the Hindu Aryans, who used similar words in the Greek and German languages. In the early 1920s, Hitler designed a flag for his party, the National Socialist German Workers Party, that featured his Hindu swastika, but with broken spokes.

                    During the Soviet period, possession of Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf” (My Struggle) was grounds for immediate execution in areas ruled by the Soviet Union. But after 1991, when the Cold War thawed and the Soviet empire fell apart, copies were plentifully available in the new Russia. It’s a new Russia that, like Germany in the 1932, is increasingly full of foreigners.

                    In the late 1990s, there were only 5,000 Chinese in all of the Soviet Union. Now, in Putin’s Russia, there are 3.26 million Chinese, making them the fourth-largest ethnic group. The rank order is as follows: Russians, 104.1 million; Tatars (Muslims), 7.2 million; Ukrainians, 5.1 million. Vietnamese illegal immigrants, too, account for hundreds of thousands working in the underground economy in Russia.

                    It’s enough to cause fear and resentment. Russian neo-Nazis did not appear during the 1990s, when democracy and free enterprise flourished in the new Russia. But on the literal eve of the turning of the year 1999 into 2000, President Boris Yeltsin handed the reins of power over to former KGB agent Vladimir Putin. Putin began to rule with an iron hand, and played his xenophobia card.

                    An example is a visit by President Putin to the Russian Far East and Siberia. Putin summed up his trip, saying, “if the people here do not regenerate their region and economy they will all be speaking Chinese.”

                    The new Russia, where democracy is ebbing away while media is oppressed, critics are being jailed and human rights groups and other NGOs are being purged, is fertile ground for the birth of Hitler’s new followers.

                    In the North Caucus city of Nalchik in October, 150 young Muslims attacked government buildings and were brutally repressed. In St. Petersburg on Nov. 30, university student Timur Kacharava was beaten and stabbed to death by a dozen Nazis. A friend of his who wouldn’t give his name told media, “St. Petersburg Nazis are not a disorganized gang. They are a full-fledged military group.”

                    Pavel K. Baev, who writes for the Jamestown Foundation, a Washington, D.C-based think tank, sums up the situation:

                    “There are few doubts that it is exactly this war spreading across the region as a brushfire of criminal violence and underground fire of Islamic extremist networks that drives the growth of Nazi-type of organizations, while the human rights NGOs feel the pressure of ‘attention’ from the concerned authorities. It is quite ironic that the Kremlin courtiers have found nothing better than to celebrate the end of the “time of troubles” some 400 years ago, while a new period of turmoil and dislocation was so visible from so many windows in Moscow; it may not even wait for Putin’s departure in 2008.”

                    The year 2008 is already full of tension — elections will take place for new presidents in the United States and Russia, and China will host the Olympics. Putin will be gone, but not the Russian neo-Nazis. They could conceivably organize and reach a critical mass in the city of Moscow, paving the way for fascism in the former Soviet Union.

                    http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=a7b67686a22786cf11b1dcbb316b3999

                    Russian Neo-Nazis Strike Again
                    Right-Wing Execution Video Under Investigation

                    Russian authorities on Wednesday have made the first arrest in the case of a shocking neo-Nazi video posted on the Internet apparently showing the execution of two men by right-wing radicals. The man, taken into custody in the southern Russian town of Maikop, is suspected of distributing the video, but authorities do not think he was involved in making it.
                    Authorities are still trying to determine if the video, which made its appearance on Sunday on the popular social networking site LiveJournal, is authentic — although many observers believe that it is. Even if it’s not, authorities say, those involved in making and posting it would still be guilty of inciting ethnic hatred and denigrating human dignity, the Russian paper Kommersant reported on Tuesday.

                    “I’ve never seen anything that blatant,” Alexander Verkhovsky, head of the Sova center which keeps tabs on hate crimes in Russia, told the Moscow Times.

                    The clip depicts two young men, bound, gagged and kneeling beneath a swastika flag in a forest. A subtitle claims that they are “colonists from Tajikistan and Dagestan” while the two tell the camera in accented Russian that they were arrested by Russian national socialists. Two masked men give the Nazi salute in the background.

                    Then, one of the prisoners is beheaded. The other one is shot in the head. When or where the video might have been made is unclear.

                    The video posting included a message by a group calling itself the National Socialist Party of Russia. The group demanded that all Asians be expelled from Russia and that the Caucasus be granted independence. In addition, the note called for the release of the leader of neo-Nazi group Format 18 (18 being right-wing shorthand for Adolf Hitler’s initials), in prison since July.

                    Still, many extremists groups are distancing themselves from the macabre video, with many even suggesting in blog postings that it could have been made by those seeking to discredit right-wing movements in Russia. Investigators have provided little information as to how the investigation is progressing.

                    The country has seen a sharp rise in xenophobia recently with attacks against minorities, especially those from the Central Asian and Caucasian republics. Over 50 people have been killed by right-wing groups already this year.

                    If the video is authentic, it could mark the beginning of a new wave of similar hate crimes. The note attached to the video announced that “a military vanguard” had taken up arms in a fight against “black colonists and those who support them from the Russian government.”

                    Also on Wednesday, officials looking into Monday’s train bombing on the Moscow-St. Petersburg line have said that cables found at the site may indicate that ultranationalists could have been responsible. The remains of an explosive device resemble the one used in a June 2005 train bomb set off by two ultranationalists.

                    The gruesome video shows one man decapitated and another shot in the head beneath a swastika flag. Many think it is authentic — and on Wednesday, the Russian authorities made the first arrest.

                    • Voice of Reason

                      That was a very impressive volume of spam, Andrew. I hope somebody reads it some day.

                      But why did you forget to answer my simple question: What prevented Saakashvili from fulfilling his order to take down Stalin’s statue, and what prompted him to rush to blow up the monument to anti-Nazi heroes in such a hurry that he even killed some civilian(s) in the process?

              • voice of r. wrote;

                So, Saakashvili is like Churchill: both love Stalin.

                The difference is that Churchill hated Hitler, while Saakashvili adores Hitler, as exemplified by Saakashvili reneging on his promise to blow up Stalin’s monument in Gori and instead blowing up the Kutaisi Monument to the 400,000 Georgian heroes who died fighting Hitler. What shame.

                comment;

                Perhaps you should build the biggest monument of the second world war – to all those who walked directly, without any resistance, from the Victory parade on the red square to the gulags where they were treated like animals by their own belowed communist government. YOU RUSSIAN STILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH THATBARBARITY WHICH YOU DENIED IT EVER HAPPENED – My father was right when he talked abouat russia he started always with one sentence – that obscenity called russia…….

                • During WWII, Georgia lost lost about 50% of their adult male population.

                  What % of the adult male russians were lost??

  3. Ten to one the D-day memorial w/Stalin is the work of Obama.

  4. Russian Skinheads Mark Hitler’s Birthday
    Posted July 19th, 2008
    Thematic ReportRUSSIAN SKINHEADS MARK HITLER’S BIRTHDAY1

    Introduction

    April 20 is the anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s birth, and as strange as it might sound, nowhere on earth are more people aware of this day of infamy than in Russia—the country that did so much to defeat fascism almost six decades ago. In one of history’s supreme ironies, Russians—who lost tens of millions to the battle against the Nazis—collectively held their breath that day in anticipation of mass skinhead violence against people from the Caucasus, dark-skinned foreign students and Jews, all in honor of a man who once vowed to wipe Moscow off the face of the earth. Over 1,000 extra police were deployed on the streets of Moscow2 , and most other cities took similar measures. After last April’s attack on the Yasenevo market by 150 skinheads, and last October’s even larger (300 skinheads) attack on the Tsaritsyno market, which resulted in three fatalities, the Moscow city authorities were clearly taking no chances. Neither was the national leadership. In his state of the nation address two days before the notorious anniversary, President Vladimir Putin warned that: “The growth of extremism presents a serious threat to stability and public safety in our country. We are talking above all here about those who organize attacks under fascist and nationalist slogans and flags, beating and killing people.”3 At the same time, the President sent to the State Duma a tough bill designed to crack down on extremist groups.

    Despite the nation-wide state of alert, skinhead violence did take place throughout the country. As this report shows, in contrast to media accounts that portray April 20 as a triumph of law and order over the skinhead menace, the level of racist and antisemitic violence in the days preceding and following the anniversary was significant. On the one hand, large-scale bloodbaths were probably prevented by the tough reactions of police in many provincial cities. Yet when all the small-scale incidents of skinhead violence are tallied, the number of reported beatings and murders was quite high, and significantly, some of it took place in cities not previously known as hotbeds of skinhead activity. This leaves the strong impression that the skinhead movement continues to grow in Russia, both in its numbers, geographical scope, and viciousness, though some of that may be a matter of perception due to better media coverage of skinhead violence. Harder to measure was the hidden cost of the panic fueled by rumors and memories of skinhead violence during past anniversaries. Many ethnic minorities closed their market stalls and kept their children from school on April 20, while dark-skinned foreign students largely stayed in their homes.

    http://www.ucsj.org/publications/special-reports/russian-skinheads-mark-hitlers-birthday

    • Voice of Reason

      That was a very impressive volume of spam about events from 2 years ago, Andrew. I hope somebody reads it some day.

      But you again forgot to answer my simple question: What prevented Saakashvili from fulfilling his order to take down Stalin’s statue, and what prompted him to rush to blow up the monument to anti-Nazi heroes in such a hurry that he even killed some civilian(s) in the process?

  5. ANTISEMITIC AND RACIST VIOLENCE IN UKRAINE AND RUSSIA
    2007

    The problems of antisemitic and racist violence continue to worsen in Ukraine and Russia in 2007. Both countries have yet to overcome the historical legacy of Tsarist and Soviet mistreatment, violence, and discrimination against Jews and some other minorities. Both confront similar problems of corrupt and dysfunctional criminal justice systems that are ill-equipped to deal with relatively complicated legal issues like hate crimes and hate speech. Xenophobic attitudes among the general population are widespread, and several politicians in both countries have been elected and re-elected while openly espousing antisemitic and racist beliefs.
    Nevertheless, conditions in both countries differ in six significant ways:

    1. While the neo-Nazi movement has expanded rapidly in both countries, this is especially true of Russia, where it laid down roots much earlier than in Ukraine.

    2. The frequency of violent attacks against Jews is higher in Ukraine than in Russia, where the main targets of neo-Nazi gangs are dark-skinned migrants. These migrants greatly outnumber the Russian Jewish population, while in Ukraine non-Russian migrants are present in much smaller numbers. The additional factor of Islamophobia stoked by the wars in Chechnya further aggravates Russian nationalists’ attitudes towards dark-skinned migrants, pushing the Jews further down the list of “enemies” than they were in the past.

    3. Ukrainian media frequently ignore antisemitic attacks, in contrast to the Russian media, which does a better job of reporting both antisemitic and racist violence. Most of the attacks that UCSJ learn of in Ukraine are never reported in the mainstream Ukrainian press.

    4. In both countries, there is an unfortunate tendency by some local authorities and law enforcement agencies to cover up hate crimes by lumping them under the vague rubric of “hooliganism.” Some local authorities have denied the existence of neo-Nazi gangs in their region, despite clear evidence to the contrary. However, in recent years, this kind of disingenuous official rhetoric has become less common in Russia as the problems of extremist nationalist groups and inter-ethnic violence spin increasingly out of control. In Ukraine, the neo-Nazi movement is at an earlier stage of development than in Russia, and most of media is indifferent to this issue, which allows some local officials and agencies the political cover to deny that extremist nationalist groups and antisemitic violence are serious problems. Russia’s hate crimes laws, which were effectively moribund in the 1990s, are being applied more frequently in recent years, while in Ukraine, UCSJ is only aware of one successful hate crimes prosecution this decade.

    5. In Russia, a coalition of human rights NGOS called the Coalition Against Hate (made up of UCSJ, the Moscow Helsinki Group, the Sova Center, and others) has been effective in voicing concern, engendering media attention, and putting pressure on Russian officials when it comes to hate crimes. No equivalent to this coalition currently exists in Ukraine. On the other hand, the Kremlin’s crackdown on NGOs—society’s first line of defense against human rights abuses—could make the situation much worse in the near future in Russia. Correspondingly, Ukraine’s climate of greater political freedom since the Orange Revolution may in time have the opposite effect.

    6. A final complicating factor is the unfortunate use of blatantly racist rhetoric by President Putin in the wake of the 2006 Kondopoga riots, which targeted migrants from the Caucasus. The president used the widespread publicity surrounding the riot to successfully push for a law that bans foreign market traders—a blatant pander to the extreme right. Shortly afterwards, the Russian government engaged in a racist witch hunt against ethnic Georgians, during which 1,000s were detained and an unknown number deported, including many who were present in the country legally and even a few who had Russian citizenship. The Ukrainian government, to its credit, did not engage in any openly racist policies.

    In Ukraine, the number of hate crimes reported by UCSJ’s Kiev monitor Vyacheslav Likhachyov reached 70 in 2007. The largest category of victims were Jews (13 attacks) and students from various Arab countries (also 13 attacks), with Africans a close second (12 attacks). The very weekend that this report was being compiled, thugs in Dnepropetrovsk assaulted a rabbi in a clear hate crime (there was no attempt to rob the victim and the assailants were especially vicious, kicking their victim multiple times as he lay prone on the ground). Police have not yet made any arrests in connection with this latest attack.
    As in previous years, many of these attacks remained unsolved crimes. Police responses to these crimes ranged from professional in some cases to completely indifferent in others. For example, on December 16, 2006, three Orthodox Jews were attacked in Kiev by a gang of young men screaming antisemitic abuse. In a December 17 report, the AEN news agency quoted one of the victims as saying:
    “Suddenly around 10 young people with bottles in their hands ran out of a courtyard. Screaming ‘kikes, get out of here’ along with several curse words they attacked us and started to savagely beat us. I and a friend managed to escape and called the police. However, when we called 02 [the local equivalent of 911], a voice told us to call back tomorrow because it was already late and the police couldn’t come.” “We found out later that our third friend [who didn’t escape] was thrown to the ground and kicked,” the victim continued. “A passerby came out of a parked car and tried to help him. He tried to explain to the hooligans that it isn’t right to beat a man who is down on the ground. They beat him up too. We haven’t been able to find him. Our friend has a concussion and several other injuries.”

    As promised, the police arrived the next day and began investigating the attack. However, by that time the criminals’ trail had obviously gotten cold, and UCSJ is not aware of any arrests having been made in connection with this attack.
    The number of extremist crimes recorded by Russian law enforcement agencies has risen by a factor of three since 2004, according to the first deputy head of the Interior Ministry. A January 21, 2008 report by the Interfax news agency quoted Aleksandr Chekalin saying that while in 2004 the number of such crimes was 130, 152 were recorded the following year, 262 in 2006, and a whopping 356 in 2007. These “were crimes in general committed on ethnic or religious grounds,” the minister said–a valuable disaggregator, since in the past government statistics lumped in terrorist acts and other forms of violence stemming from the Chechen war with hate crimes committed by Russian extremist nationalist groups.
    Although not pointed out in the Interfax piece, the fact that so many of the victim of hate crimes are illegally present in the country, combined with long-standing police practices of suppressing hate crimes data and targeting certain ethnic minority groups for harsh treatment, means that these numbers are very likely just the tip of the iceberg, valuable only insofar as they show the broader trend of increasing inter-ethnic violence in Russia.
    According to the Sova Information-Analytical Center—a member of the Coalition Against Hate which closely tracks hate crimes and extremist groups—in 2007 Russian courts convicted 23 people of hate crimes and an additional 27 of violating hate speech laws. While this is the highest number of hate crimes and hate speech convictions that the Russian justice system has recorded to date, and therefore a positive sign, in a vast country where hate crimes are reported literally on a daily basis, a couple of dozen extremists brought to justice are the proverbial drop in the bucket.
    For example, just during the week of January 21-28, 2008 UCSJ and its coalition partners recorded the following hate crimes: A neo-Nazi gang attack in the small city of Pervouralsk, the stabbing of an ethnic Tajik in St. Petersburg, the posting of threatening leaflets on the door of a mosque in Nizhny Novgorod, a likely arson attack against a Pentecostal church in Saratov, the sentencing to a laughably short one year in prison of a group of neo-Nazi youths in Obninsk who filmed their multiple attacks on non-Russians and then posted them on the Internet along with images of swastikas, and the arrest in Yekaterinburg of youths who murdered a non-Russian migrant. In Moscow, the following hate crimes were reported: the vicious beating of a citizen of Turkmenistan, two separate attacks on ethnic Buryats, the fatal stabbing of an Armenian student, and the arrest of five suspects in a string of murders of Central Asian migrants.
    This is what now passes for a typical week in our monitoring of the situation in Russia, where inter-ethnic violence is fast approaching the point where it is starting to tear apart the country’s social and political fabric. The potential consequences for the Jewish community and other vulnerable minority groups if these trends are allowed to continue are grim.

    http://www.ucsj.org/files/012708KirkSummary.pdf

    • Voice of Reason

      That was a very impressive volume of spam about events from 3 years ago, Andrew. I hope somebody reads it some day.

      And your attack on Yuschenko’s Ukraine is quite touching.

      I give you an “A” for your efforts to change the subject.

      But you for the fourth time forgot to answer my simple question: What prevented Saakashvili from fulfilling his order to take down Stalin’s statue, and what prompted him to rush to blow up the monument to anti-Nazi heroes in such a hurry that he even killed some civilian(s) in the process?

      • Who can say?

        I am not on conversational terms with Saakashvili and his cabinet.

        However, I would like you to post some evidence that he “loves Hitler”.

        Russians seem to love Hitler a great deal, in both actions and words.

        Interesting how the “Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union” rates Georgia as the safest place for Jews to live in the former USSR, whereas Russia is pretty much the worst.

  6. Voice of Reason

    Andrew wrote: ““Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union” rates Georgia as the safest place for Jews to live in the former USSR, whereas Russia is pretty much the worst.

    Andrew wrote: “The frequency of violent attacks against Jews is higher in Ukraine than in Russia… Ukrainian media frequently ignore antisemitic attacks, in contrast to the Russian media, which does a better job of reporting both antisemitic and racist violence. Most of the attacks that UCSJ learn of in Ukraine are never reported in the mainstream Ukrainian press… Russia’s hate crimes laws, which were effectively moribund in the 1990s, are being applied more frequently in recent years, while in Ukraine, UCSJ is only aware of one successful hate crimes prosecution this decade…. In Russia, a coalition of human rights NGOS called the Coalition Against Hate (made up of UCSJ, the Moscow Helsinki Group, the Sova Center, and others) has been effective in voicing concern, engendering media attention, and putting pressure on Russian officials when it comes to hate crimes. No equivalent to this coalition currently exists in Ukraine.

    Fascinating, but hardly unexpected. Let’s hope that with Yuschenko gone, Yanukovych will reduce anti-semitism in Ukraine. The first step should be reversal of Yuscehnko’s order declaring Nazi mass murderer Shukhevych and fascist Benedera as “Heroes of Ukraine”.

  7. Blasts, shootings kill four in Russia’s Caucasus
    Today at 16:02 | Reuters NAZRAN, Russia – Blasts and shooting on Friday killed at least four people in Russia’s North Caucasus where the Kremlin is struggling to contain an Islamist insurgency, Russian media reported.

    In the town of Malgobek in Ingushetia, a police officer was killed and 10 people were injured when a blast struck as policemen attended the scene of another bomb that had earlier ripped through a store injuring a further three, a police spokesman told Reuters.

    In a separate incident, a female kiosk seller was gunned down in Malgobek by unidentified gunmen, Interfax reported, citing an unnamed source.

    http://www.kyivpost.com/news/russia/detail/68655/

  8. Andrew wrote: ““Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union” rates Georgia as the safest place for Jews to live in the former USSR, whereas Russia is pretty much the worst.”

    Andrew, please be concise in your messages. Nobody can read thousands lines of spam you post. BTW, did you ask yourself why so many Georgians prefer Russia to Georgia to stay? This is especially true regarding highly intelligent people.

        • LOL

          Actually Georgians tend to prefer western Europe these days, given the constant racism and harassment they receive in Russia.

          • They may “tend to prefer” , but Western Europe doesn’t let them in. The population of Georgians in Russia is huge.

            • Voice of Reason

              This reminds me of an old Russian joke. A boy comes home from school and tells his father:

              – Dad, we are supposed to write a composition on the difference between theory and practice. Can you help me?

              -Sure. Go to the kitchen and ask your mother and older sister if they would sleep with a stranger for a million rubles.

              The boy goes to the kitchen, comes back and says:

              – Yes, dad, they said they would.

              – See son: in theory we are millionaires, but in practice we have two whores living under our roof.

              • Well, you are the one with a Russian mother, so you have much more experience with whores…..

                • Francis Smyth-Beresford

                  Hey, that reminds me of an old Georgian joke. A mother gives her son some money, and says, “Go to the market and buy some ham for our lunch”, The boy soon comes back empty-handed, and tells her, “Mama, nobody has any ham. They told me all the pigs in Georgia moved to America”.

                  Oh, wait. That wasn’t a joke. You’re a pig, Andrew, and there goes any shred of respect I had for you. That’s a new low for this blog.

                • Voice of Reason

                  Andrew wrote: “Well, you are the one with a Russian mother, so you have much more experience with whores….

                  So, you are too stupid to understand jokes, Andrew. Why am I not surprised.

                  • No Voice Of Retardation, I understood the “joke” too well.

                    But my comment still stands.

                    Of course, given that your wife was also Russian….

                    ;-)

                    As for FSB, I neither want nor need the respect of a Philbyite scumbag such as yourself.

                    Anyone who uses a moniker which is based on the initials of the latest incarnation of the most evil secret police system in history is a person whose opinion is worthless.

  9. Putin’s Eternal Peace in the Caucaus, August 4:

    NAZRAN, June 4 (Itar-Tass) — The Friday terrorist act in Malgobek, Ingushetia, injured 15 people, two of them lethally, a source at the Ingush department of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office Investigation Committee told Itar-Tass.

    Both killed are police officers, the representative said.

    http://itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=15197430&PageNum=0

    The head of administration of Dagestan’s Magaramkentsky district, Azadi Shikhbabaev, was killed today (June 4) when unidentified gunmen opened fire on the car in which he was driving in the village of Magaramkent. His driver was wounded in the attack and hospitalized. The attackers escaped in a car that was later found abandoned on the outskirts of the village. The previous head of the Magaramkentsky district administration, Abrek Gadzhiev, was murdered in Makhachkala last November.

    A high-pressure gas pipeline was damaged in an apparent explosion early today (June 4) on the outskirts of Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria. A leak from the damaged pipeline was plugged and gas supply to the city was not halted. It was not clear whether the explosion was caused by a bomb.

  10. Russia’s Security Service Could Gain Powers Formerly Associated With Soviet KGB

    Russia’s parliament is considering a new law that would extend the powers of the country’s secret security agency, the FSB. If the bill is passed, it would restore practices once associated with the infamous KGB. Russia’s security services have steadily regained power and influence under Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, himself a former KGB officer. Human rights advocates are concerned that the new measures could further curtail the rights of government critics and the independent media.

    The KGB was one of the most feared instruments of the Kremlin during the Soviet Union and viewed by many as the world’s most effective information gathering organization. It’s successor organization, the FSB is engaged mostly in domestic affairs and its powers have been steadily growing. The current government-backed legislation would allow FSB officers to summon individuals for informal talks and issue written warnings about forbidden participation in anti-government activities such as protest rallies – even if they have not violated the law.

    “The draft, as I currently understand it, we have very serious human rights concerns about it,” said Allison Gill, the director of Moscow’s office of Human Rights Watch. “It allows law enforcement agencies to literally question anyone about anything and to punish people through arrest or forced interrogation or deprivation of liberty for what would otherwise be a protected activity. Civil peaceful forms of dissent are protected by Russian law and they are protected by international human rights standards.”

    *************

    “Some Neo-Nazi groups, they sent us death threats by email or by phone,” said Verkhovsky. “Some even came to my house. They even sent me a video. It explained that I am an enemy of the Russian people, that I support terrorists. My house was exposed, my address, my photo. Officially, I was never called to the police station. They never called me on the phone. They are not interested in this type of investigation and really are not involved.”

    ***************

    Boris Gryzlov, the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, sharply criticized two major Russian newspapers for their coverage of the event. Gryzlov implied that the journalists had taken the side of the terrorists by claiming that the Kremlin’s policies, in the Northern Caucuses region, may have contributed to a rise in the violence in the region, and may have accounted for the subway bombings.

    Allison Gill, with Human Rights Watch in Moscow, says the proposed law would have grave consequences for press freedom.

    http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/europe/Russias-Security-Service-Could-Gain-Powers-Formerly-Associated-With-Soviet-KGB-95682939.html

  11. Tragedy at Russian cultural event:

  12. Olympic construction again provokes protests, hunger strike in Sochi

    http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100606/159320435.html

    “The regional media block all information about us. No one in Russia knows what is going on. Only foreign journalists visited us, they call us now and then and show their support,” he added.

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