June 9, 2010 — Contents

WEDNESDAY JUNE 9 CONTENTS

(1) EDITORIAL:  Finally, Sochi Exposed

(2) EDITORIAL:  In Russia, Citizens Biggest Fear is the “Police”

(3) Corruption and Abuse of Power in Putin’s Russia

(4)  Obama, the Bastard, Abandons Human Rights in Russia

(5)  Russia Abandons its Poets

16 responses to “June 9, 2010 — Contents

  1. Polish officials said Monday that four Russian soldiers have been detained on suspicion of stealing credit cards from the crash site of the Polish presidential plane in Smolensk and have details about how the perpetrators repeatedly tried to withdraw cash from Smolensk bank machines.

    “I can confirm that we have been informed that four soldiers from the units that secured the crash area were detained,” said a spokeswoman for Polish Internal Security Agency, Reuters reported.

    Polish government spokesman Pawel Gras, who first spoke about the missing credit cards Sunday, confirmed Monday that the suspects were four soldiers and said he had been mistaken in initially identifying them as three OMON riot police officers. He spoke at a news conference in Warsaw.

    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/poland-says-4-soldiers-held-for-crash-theft/407754.html

    In Moscow, Defense Ministry spokesman Alexei Kuznetsov said he was “not ready to comment” because the information “should be verified,” Bloomberg reported.

    A credit card belonging to Andrzej Przewoznik, a 46-year-old historian, was used for three days after he died in the crash on April 10, Monika Lewandowska, a spokeswoman for Warsaw prosecutors, told The Associated Press.

    There were 11 withdrawals from his credit card, and the first occurred just hours after the crash, Lewandowska said, adding that an ATM in Smolensk was used to obtain the equivalent of 6,000 Polish zlotys ($1,728) from the card.

    Another card belonging to Przewoznik also went missing, and someone tried to withdraw cash from it six times but failed, Lewandowska said.

    The Polish Embassy in Moscow declined to comment Monday.

    Responding to initial reports implicating the police in wrongdoing, the Interior Ministry issued a statement calling the Polish claims “sacrilegious” and “cynical” and noting that four Smolensk policemen involved in the crash investigation and cleanup were awarded medals by acting Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski on May 8.

    Smolensk police said they had not been notified by Polish officials about any credit card thefts.

    Przewoznik, head of the Council for the Protection of Struggle and Martyrdom Sites, died in the crash that also killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski and 94 other people as their plane tried to land in foggy weather.

    • I’ll just it’s not unusual, as they always loot. They looted after the gas attack in Moscow in 2002 (3 civilian workers were later arrested in the cover-up), they completely looted all of Chechnya (murdering many, many people in the process).

      Also it’s “cynical” how they called it “sacrilegious”. The OMON band formations are well-known for even VERY violent looting and stealing from Russian citiziens (violent as in: beating, shooting, stabbing, beaheading people).

      In one the worst incidents, and probably the best-documented one (including ECHR rulings):

      On February 5, 2000, Russian forces engaged in widespread killing, arson, rape and looting in Aldi. The victims included an eighty-two-year-old woman, and a one-year-old-boy with his twenty-nine-year-old mother, who was eight months pregnant. The 46-page report criticizes the failure of the Russian authorities to undertake a credible investigation into the massacre and provide adequate protection for witnesses. Human Rights Watch previously documented the events in Aldi in a February 23 press release, but the new report documents in detail the killings of forty of the victims, along with six cases of rape, and the widespread arson and looting of civilian homes. Russian authorities have themselves admitted that special riot police units (in Russian, OMON) from the city of St. Petersburg and Riazan province were in Aldi on February 5.

      http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,HRW,,RUS,,3ae6a8708,0.html

      The ECHR held Russia accountable for the deaths of five members of the Estamirov family, who included a baby and a pregnant woman, failing to carry out an effective and adequate investigation into the circumstances of their deaths, and failing to provide any effective domestic remedy. The court also ordered Russia to pay the victims more than US$250,000 in material and moral damages. Russia has three months to appeal the ruling.

      On February 5, 2000, family members found the bodies of 67-year-old Khasmagomed Estamirov, his son, 37 year-old Khozh-Akhmed Estamirov, the latter’s wife, 29 year-old Toita Estamirova, who was eight months pregnant, her one-year-old son, Khassan Estamirov, and Khasmagomed Estamirov’s cousin, 50 year-old Saidakhmed Masarov. The house and family car had been set ablaze, and the bodies were burnt but still recognizable with visible bullet wounds.

      The killings of the Estamirov family occurred after Russia’s federal forces had taken control of Grozny and had launched sweep operations in the city’s suburbs, including Aldi. At least 60 civilians were summarily executed on February 5 in Aldy and Chernorechie, another suburb.

      Soon after finding the bodies, relatives of the Estamirovs urged the Chechnya prosecutor’s office to investigate the murders. It did so only after considerable delay and then repeatedly suspended the investigation. The response of the military prosecutor’s office made it clear to the relatives that the government knew the identity of the unit responsible. However, to date no one has been charged with the crime.

      http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2006/10/12/russia-condemned-chechnya-killings

  2. Ah, yes, Russian soliders. Patriots to the end!

    • Polish plane crash: Russian soldiers suspected of looting

      Thaw between two countries united in grief over 10 April disaster threatened by claims that Russian soldiers stole credit cards from body

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/07/polish-plane-crash-looting

      Today Polish television reported that credit cards belonging to another plane crash victim, Aleksandra Natalli-Swiat, the deputy head of the Law and Justice party, had also disappeared. No transactions were recorded, however.

      Poland’s government spokesman Pawel Gras initially blamed Russia’s OMON riot police for the thefts. Yesterday he said the culprits had been arrested following a fast-moving joint investigation. “The three OMON officers who did this shameful deed were detained with lightning speed thanks to co-operation between the [Polish] internal security agency and Russian special services,” Gras declared.

      His comments provoked an apoplectic reaction from Russia’s interior ministry, which said its officers had been wrongly accused. Describing the allegation as “cynical, sacrilegious, and fictive”, Nikolai Turbovets, the head of the Smolensk region’s crime police, said no OMON riot police officers had been arrested. Nor had any crimes been committed at the crash scene, he insisted.

      Poland has clarified that those arrested were soldiers rather than police.

      Nevertheless, the row threatens to undermine the genuine closeness that has blossomed between Russia and Poland in the crash’s aftermath. The Kremlin gave unprecedented assistance and access to Polish investigators (*), while Russia’s prime minister, Vladimir Putin, flew to Smolensk with his Polish counterpart, Donald Tusk. President Dmitry Medvedev attended Kaczynski’s funeral in Krakow.

      The Polish delegation had been travelling to a memorial ceremony to mark the anniversary of the 1940 Katyn massacre, when Soviet secret police killed thousands of Polish military officers. Przewoznik was a well-known historian and head of the council responsible for maintaining Polish war memorials and other historical sites.

      Last month Bronislaw Komorowski, the Polish acting president, asked Medvedev to increase security around the site of the plane crash after Polish reports showed victims’ personal belongings unearthed there. Local media also showed images of civilians collecting items near the wreckage of the plane soon after the accident.

      (*) Guardian is just uninformed here (like most of non-Polish media, who lost their interest VERY soon after the tragedy). A few Polish prosecutors were were not allowed to even question the witnesses, or gather the evidence, just nothing.

  3. A Plague Upon The World: The USA is a “Failed State” http://www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticle.php?articleId=19458

    • “The US owes its image of success to the economic destruction of Russia and most of Asia by communism or socialism.”

      AHA! So you admit Russia’s economy was destroyed NOT BY DEMOCRACY but by COMMUNISM AND SOCIALISM!!

      BTW: There are plenty of forums for you to pour out your pathetic jealousy of the USA. This isn’t one of them. It’s about Russia. If you want to offer evidence of how great or terrible Russia is, feel free consistent with our comment publication guidelines. Do anything else and you’ll be banned.

    • Conspicuous by their absence from your report are examples of American soldiers stealing from air crash victims.

      Can any of you Russophile filth out there come up with some? We’re waiting eagerly to see.

      • Francis Smyth-Beresford

        Nope, I couldn’t find anything exactly like that scenario (dead victims of air crash). What does that imply? That American soldiers are uniformly honest?

        The vast majority are, not to mention highly professional and motivated to do their jobs well. American military members are also generally well-paid (although you could make a legitimate argument that no amount of money is enough recompense for getting shot at, and maybe dying in some miserable sandpit far from home), and don’t have to steal. That’s something Russia needs to look at if they’re ever to get past a conscript military – people simply won’t willingly do it for such miserable wages.

        I did find a few sites that impugned the honesty of American soldiers on a very small scale, although some were quite ambitious; like this one

        http://www.militarycorruption.com/badapples.htm

        in which a Marine fighter pilot stole almost a half-million in reconstruction funds from Iraq. Not from dead air-crash victims, though. Similarly, this Army captain boosted nearly $700,000 in humanitarian relief funds: that “less than $10,000.00 deposit, spread it around” thing seems to be quite well-known among thieves, and also apparently doesn’t fool anyone for long.

        http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29543169

        Then there’s a couple of accusations of soldiers stealing from Iraqi families during house raids. But again, none of them died in an air crash.

        http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/component/content/article/8099.html

        http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0525-05.htm

        I imagine some of these accusations are true – every large military group contains a few bad apples. The America’s credit, those caught are usually punished visibly and severely. Given the publicity the Russian thefts are getting, I have no doubt they will be as well.

        • Well, FSB (Shouldn’t your moniker be F*cking Stupid Bastard??)

          The difference is that Russian looting is not conducted by “a few bad apples” but is wholesale in scale, and a central part of Russian military culture.

          A good example is the Russian army looting everything they could lay their hands on from Georgian homes, schools, banks, shops etc during their illegal invasion in 2008.

          The Russian soldiers even set up a couple of huge markets to sell their loot, one in Abkhazia, and the other in North Ossetia.

        • @I imagine some of these accusations are true – every large military group contains a few bad apples. The America’s credit, those caught are usually punished visibly and severely. Given the publicity the Russian thefts are getting, I have no doubt they will be as well.

          The crash site looters were not even detained. Of course. “No a serious crime”, you know.

          Now,

          http://www.srji.org/en/legal/cases

          It’s mostly murders, but there are also thefts. Mostly murdering and stealing, at once.

          For example, when a death squad (“special forces”) broke to the house of the human rights activist Zura Bitiyeva and executed her and most of her family, they also stole a VCR (“the video”):

          http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int/tkp197/view.asp?action=html&documentId=819060&portal=hbkm&source=externalbydocnumber&table=F69A27FD8FB86142BF01C1166DEA398649

          Please tell about the “visible and severe” (or any at all) punishements in this or any other of all these cases.

          And no, I don’t mean this kind of “punishment” (promotion, the “Hero of Russia” medal): http://www.srji.org/en/news/2006/07/10/

  4. Francis Smyth-Beresford

    Breaking news! Both Russian players who played today in the Aegon Classic defeated their British opponents. I know the Brits suck at tennis, but still.

  5. Voice of Reason

    Here i san interesting article:

    http://www.sptimes.ru/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=31641

    The Reset Has Begun

    By Dmitry Trenin

    NATO soldiers marching in Red Square on Victory Day. Moscow agreeing on a compromise resolution of the 40-year sea-boundary dispute with Norway. The sight of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin kneeling at the memorial to the Polish officers murdered by Stalin’s regime at Katyn. These are a few glimpses of what the New Europe newspaper two weeks ago described as a kinder, gentler Russia.

    In this case, what you see is what you get. Russia’s tone, especially toward the United States, began to change last year, but the Kremlin’s support for a fourth version of United Nations Security Council sanctions on Iran demonstrates that, today, there is real substance. Moreover, surrendering territorial claims in the Arctic — the stakes in the dispute with Norway — is no small matter.

    The West has broadly welcomed Russia’s new line. Obama has sent a nuclear energy cooperation agreement with Russia to Congress, while the European Union has offered a “partnership for modernization.” Both want Russia to complete its accession to the World Trade Organization.

    This is crucial. There can be no better foundation for modernization than WTO membership. When this is achieved, the next steps are a permanent normal trade status for Russia in the United States and practical moves toward a pan-European free-trade area between the EU, Russia, Ukraine and other countries. Europe’s potentially most effective instrument to help Russian modernization is gradual abolition of the visa regime with Russia.

    The time to act is now. Within a few years, when it becomes clear to the Russian leadership that modernization conceived as technological innovation is too narrow to succeed, important choices will have to be made. Either the scope of modernization will be broadened, or modernization will be aborted in favor of regime preservation. Forward-looking elements in Russia will require compelling arguments if their case is to prevail.

    Dmitry Trenin is director of the Carnegie Moscow Center.

  6. After the initial angry denial (“no crime at all”, Polish government being “cynical and sacreligious” and what not), Russians officially admitted the soldiers were looting at the crash site.

    However, they were not arrested, since “their crime was not serious”.

    (Of course, it’s just typical Russian barbarian logic. Thousands of those who looted the “fellow Russian citiziens” in Chechnya were not arrested either even when they were murdering men, women and children while pillaging.)

    Then there are more lies: the soldiers were supposedly not “arrested following with lightning speed thanks to co-operation between the [Polish] internal security agency and Russian special services” (Gras’ rosey vision of Russia), no. And I don’t mean the fact they were not arrested at all. According to Russians, they did found out with no co-operation with Poland whatsoever – see, their commander just noticed they had foreign credit cards.

    I wonder if the “cynical and sacreligious” Polish government would finally understand this basic fact they refused to acknowledge for some reason: the Russians are lying. Of course, because they are always lying in all high-profile cases. Every single one of them. From the Moscow bombings to the bombing of Grozny to the Kursk disaster to the Moscow gassing to the Beslan fire to the “genocide in South Ossetia”, and everything in between. Every time. Always, always, always.

    And the man who officially leads “the investigation”, is just a criminal, including guilty of crimes against humanity.

  7. The Kremlin’s Chechen Dragon

    http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2010/may/27/kremlins-chechen-dragon/

    In the summer of 2004, two years and four months before she was gunned down in the entrance to her Moscow apartment, Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya made a bold visit to Chechnya to interview 27-year-old Ramzan Kadyrov, who had recently become (with the Kremlin’s blessing) the republic’s de-facto leader. It proved to be a harrowing experience. When they met face to face, Kadyrov could not contain his rage at Politkovskaya for reporting on his brutal rise to power, even threatening to have her shot. Politkovskaya concluded later that “a little dragon has been raised by the Kremlin. Now they need to feed it. Otherwise it will spit fire.”

    Politkovskaya was all too right. Since becoming president of Chechnya in 2007, Kadyrov has made the republic into his own fiefdom, which he rules by violence and terror. He has also, apparently, had his gunmen carry out a series of brazen killings of his perceived enemies in Moscow, Dubai, Istanbul and the North Caucasus.

    (The author of the article is typically naive, especially about Medvedev and his alleged “strong concerns about the unsolved murders and the problem of human rights abuses in the Caucasus”. Journalists often grasp some of this, but they don’t get it all. Kadyrov is just a puppet, nothing else, and Medvedev is only playing a good cop – that is when not posing with a rifle next to Kadyrov or telling his henchmen to be “more cruel”.)

  8. Off subject, but funny.

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

    Gazprom is now investing in American shale gas. The reason is, of course, to learn the technology. Americans invite everybody in because cheap, clean energy helps everybody.

  9. Obama, being a weakling and traitor to civil rights, will not bring up the Yukos affair in which a large company was stolen by tossing it’s owners and employees in prison.

    Obama will not mention this outrage and, instead, will allow the Putin criminal gang free technology.

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