June 14, 2010 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  Bloody, Violent, Horrifying Russia

(2)  Obama must End his Craven Silence on Russia

(3)  Obama’s Total Failure on Russia

(4)  The Scandal and Shame of the “Red Partisans”


NOTE:  Bulgaria has told Vladimir Putin to have a nice day! :)

55 responses to “June 14, 2010 — Contents

  1. Francis Smyth-Beresford

    Bulgaria has told Putin to “have a nice day”.

    Yes, due to environmental concerns raised by the U.S. oil spill. See, you do good works even when you’re not trying. Be sure to pass this story on to the residents of the Gulf Coast; I’m sure it will cheer them up no end.

    • Quite frankly, we are shocked. It never occurred to us that even our most idiotic Russophile readers would need to have the significance of this link spelled out to them:



      You reallly ought to try to think at least a little before you write things other people can read.

      • We are shocked, shocked, shocked!!! It only means that America and Bulgaria both suck.

      • Francis Smyth-Beresford


        Well. This freakishly stupid ape doesn’t quite know what to say. You mean to tell me the corrupt police forces, the murdering army, the ugly, incompetent female tennis stars, the disgusting slop food, the crappy infrastructure and the epidemic corruption you’ve been bellyaching and ki-yiing about since you started this blog is actually ALL AMERICA’S FAULT??? And you’ve done SFA about it? Where’s that “can do” attitude, Sis?

        Well, lookie hyar, as they say in the Inbreeder Mountains of Kaintuck; everything that’s kept Russia from being a thriving, deliriously happy and productive representative democracy with a low crime rate and a life expectancy up around 90 years is America’s fault. Who says so? LaRussophobe says so.

  2. Bulgaria has told Putin to “have a nice day”.

    And Putin replied to Bulgaria: “have an enjoyable winter!”

  3. Voice of Reason


    Bulgaria to scrap oil pipeline with Russia, Greece

    Bulgaria dealt a blow Friday to Moscow’s growing energy hold on Europe, announcing it would scupper a euro1 billion ($1.21 billion) pipeline deal to bring Russian oil to Greece due to environmental concerns stemming from the disastrous oil spill off the U.S. coast.

    • Well, given that Russian technology is vastly inferior to western technology, one can hartdly blame the Bulgarians.

      After all, if an accident on that scale is possible with western technology, it is certain with the inferior junk produced by Russia.

      • Poor Bulgarians, have to freeze this winter.

      • Voice of Reason

        Andrew wrote: “Well, given that Russian technology is vastly inferior to western technology, one can hardly blame the Bulgarians.

        Well, Bulgarians were given a complete freedom to choose any equipment from anywhere in the world to use on their segment of the pipeline. Why would they choose the Russian equipment? Don’t the Russians themselves use mostly foreign equipment?

        The world fears of oil spills are grossly exaggerated. Oil extraction can be very safe, if the oil companies are monitored.

        The BP oil spill is due not to the problems with the technologies but to the willful determination on the part of British Petroleum to save a few pennies here and there by totally screwing up the safety of their foreign operations. The British simply don’t give a damn if they destroy the environment of a foreign country like USA:


        BP’s Horrible Safety Record: It’s Got 760 OSHA Fines, Exxon Has Just 1

        Want to hear something scary? BP (BP) has been fined by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) 760 times. By contrast, oil giant ExxonMobil (XOM) has been fined only once.

        Let’s take a look back at BP’s horrid track record, courtesy of ABC News:

        * Back in 2007, a BP pipeline spilled 200,000 gallons of crude into the Alaskan wilderness. They got hit with $16 million in fines.

        * “The Justice Department required the company to pay approximately $353 million as part of an agreement to defer prosecution on charges that the company conspired to manipulate the propane gas market.”

        * In two separate disasters prior to Deepwater Horizon, 30 BP workers were killed and more than 200 have been seriously injured.

        * “According to the Center for Public Integrity, in the last three years, BP refineries in Ohio and Texas have accounted for 97 percent of the “egregious, willful” violations handed out by OSHA”

        * OSHA statistics show BP ran up 760 “egregious, willful” safety violations, while Sunoco and Conoco-Phillips each had 8, Citgo had 2 and Exxon had 1 comparable citation.

        After examining the facts, we’re inclined to agree that BP probably shouldn’t be operating here in the U.S. considering its horrific safety record.

        So, the Brits are screwing their American hosts exactly the way you yourself are screwing your sucker Georgian employer who doesn’t know what you spend your work day on, Andrew.

        • Actually Voice Of Retardation, you spend more time posting spam here than anyone else, usually during work hours in the US, as well as at 2 in the morning.

          I wonder what your US employer would think of an immigrant such as yourself slagging off the country that let him in?

          BTW, BP has not been “British Petroleum” for some time.

          It is also a joint US/UK company since it’s merger with AMOCO (Standard Oil Indiana) in 1989.

          Still, facts have never been your strong point have they ReTaRd.

    • As for the RuSSian environmental record, well Chernobyl was just the tip of the iceberg.

      The Tom collects sewage and industrial waste for most of its length. In winter, hot clouds billow above the edges of the icy river–hints of the 4.8 million tons of poisons that industry dumps into the Tom each year. Carcinogenic benzene and petroleum products in the Tom average two to three times the government’s legal level, according to a recent study, and during the spring thaw exceed it 15-fold. Formaldehyde measures 34 times the permissible load.

      According to Yuri Kaznin, who heads the Department of Public Health of the Kemerovo Medical Institute, the river contains as much as 48 times the legal level of bacteria, 40 times the arsenic and as much as 8.5 times the phenol, a poison derived from coal tar. Groundwater is even worse, he says. It contains 150 times the acceptable level of these toxic contaminants.

      A journey up a tributary of the Tom leads to Leninsk-Kuznetski, home to 160,000 people. From the center of town, an hour and a half to the south of Kemerovo, smokestacks tower in every direction, and the streets are covered with coal dust and ash. Like most of the factories here, the largest of the city’s nine mines are downtown. Residents take their drinking water in pails from the Inya, the local river. Because it contains more chemical waste than water, it flows even when winter temperatures drop far below freezing.

      A few hours further up the Tom, in Novokuznetsk, the air grows even worse. During the spring thaw, the city’s mammoth metalworks mock environmental laws, releasing into the sky three or four times the maximum legal level of heavy metals. In winter and summer, the climate conspires to trap poisonous air above the city for weeks at a time. A report by the regional Health and Epidemiology Survey indicates that sulfur levels near an agglomeration plant run as high as 312 times the acceptable level. Near a 5.4 million-square-foot pharmaceutical plant, fluoride is 300 times the norm.

      Two-thirds of the city’s air pollution comes not from its monster factories but from the low stacks of its centralized, and massively inefficient, coal- burning utility plants. According to municipal authorities in Novokuznetsk, the city’s air averages 10 times the legal level of benzopyrene, a carcinogen found in coal. One industrial district is burdened with 48 times the legal level. On bad days, the authorities say, nitrous oxide runs 15 times the norm, ammonium 10 times and soot 7 times. Studies around the world have implicated these pollutants in a variety of human ailments, some fatal, ranging from asthma and sore throats to cancer. By winter’s end, according to a local chemist, snow on the city’s streets contains 200 times the level of pollutants that the law allows.

      Residents add more than 800,000 tons of solid trash and waste yearly to a dump at the center of town, near the river bank, polluting the groundwater and carrying 1 million cubic meters (225 million gallons) of contaminated runoff into the Tom daily–more, authorities admit, than the purification system can handle. Industries illegally dump thousands of tons of toxic waste throughout the city each year.


      Though its extremes may stand out, the Kuzbass is not unique among the many tragedies that choke the 21 million square kilometers (8 million sq.mi.) of the former Soviet Union. For example, scientists who helped develop nuclear power plants and atomic test sites acknowledge that the nuclear industry pumped billions of gallons of deadly waste into the earth–including, near three of Russia’s most important rivers, an amount equal to 60 times the radiation released during the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear-power-plant accident. According to a 1994 World Bank report “virtually all” of the country’s radioactive-waste storage sites fail to meet modern standards.

      Due north of the Kuzbass, near the Arctic Circle, acid rain from the smelting of nickel, copper and platinum has deforested 880,000 acres, according to Russian newspaper Izvestiya. Solid-waste processing facilities can handle barely more than a quarter of the 7 billion tons produced annually. According to a 1994 report by the Security Council of President Boris Yeltsin, three-quarters of Russia’s water is unpotable. Other studies place the figure still higher.

      According to Russia’s Environment and Natural Resources Ministry, the country’s 1.2 million miles of oil and gas pipelines experience about 1,000 spills yearly. As much as 1.5 trillion cubic feet of the gas that rises with extracted petroleum is simply burned up. ITAR-TASS, the official news agency, reported recently that in the Komi Republic alone, where a horrific 1994 oil spill dumped as much as 300 million gallons onto the tundra and into rivers, about 40 more leaks have occurred.


      The environmental scourge at the root of such problems shows no signs of abating. On the contrary, according to a report released by the Environment Ministry in June, air pollution in the 60 to 70 largest Russian cities, where between 40 million and 50 million people live, rises several times a year to at least 10 times higher than the legal limit. As many as 60 million other people live in places where pollution yearly exceeds health standards by at least five times.


      • Andrew, you’re an idiot and spammer. Chernobyl is in Ukraine. And don’t post more than hundred words, idiot.

        • Mustard, you are a retard, Chernobyl happened as part of the USSR, and the fact that Russian officials were prepared to conduct such insane “experiments” as that which caused the disaster was a major spur to Ukrainian independence.

          Chernobyl was caused by the Russian communist government.

          Try learning to read you filthbag.

        • Again Andrew, you are an idiot, as USSR in not equal to Russia. The “Russian communist government” was long time led by Stalin (f@king georgian) and several ukrainians such as Nikita Khrussh (AKA Khrusshev), and Leonid Brezhnev.

          • Russia is a legal successor state to the Soviet Union. Would you deny that? Russia took over Soviet embassies abroad, Soviet nuclear arsenal, the Soviet seat at the Security Counsel and Soviet external debts. Now, if you also deny that the Soviet Union was run by Russians, you just look foolish.

            Both Brezhnev and Khruschev were ethnic Russians. We’ve been through this several times on this blog

            • The fact that Russia is a successor of USSR does not prove anything, this is just a tautology. Each republic of USSR had its local government and the Ukrainian one was responsible for Chernobyl.

              • No, moron.

                The governments of the constituent republics were directly controlled by Moscow.

                Although the Chernobyl station is located in Ukraine, it was completely subordinate to ministries based in Moscow. In theory, the most important of these was the USSR Ministry of Power and Electrification, which also possessed a Ukrainian “branch.” The Ministry of Power was responsible for energy-producing industries, and for meeting the demands of the Five-Year Plan in the energy sector. Its control therefore extended to the three main types of power stations – thermal, hydroelectric, and atomic. Initially, its key concern was with thermal power stations, that were predominantly coal fired. As late as 1975, these supplied 86 per cent of all electricity generated in the Soviet Union (Energetika SSSR v 1976-1980 godakh 1977: 11). The ministry’s control was limited, however, in those sectors of nuclear energy that were connected with the military (i.e. stations that were, or had at one time been, part of the atomic weapons programme). Such stations were administered by the USSR Ministry of Medium Machine Building. Even today, while it is obvious that the machine ministry had some control over Chernobyl, the division of responsibilities with the Ministry of Power is unclear. Most of the significant political dismissals resulting from Chernobyl occurred in these two ministries.


                As usual Russian scum and Russophile retards attempt to pass the buck for the centuries of horror they have inflicted upon others.

      • Voice of Reason

        Thank you, Andrew, for pointing out the poor safety record of the Soviet Union from 25 years ago, and how modern Russia has progressed since those Soviet times.

        How do you explain the horrible environmental record of modern British companies?

        Are the Brits rapidly devolving back into apes?

        Mad cow decease affecting the majority of the British elite?

        The Brits are determined to destroy the environment of all foreign countries to make Britain number one again? Retaliating against the Yanks for the 1776 revolution?

        • Actually Voice Of Retardation, US shareholders own as much of BP as UK shareholders.

          It is a multinational.

          Never mind retard, we can see just what a poor excuse for an “economist” you are.

          No wonder Russia keeps on collapsing if you are the pinnacle of its educational system…..

          By the way, if you are so useless you cant even find clearly marked references and sources, well there is no helping you ;)

          • As usual British scum and Anglophile retards attempt to pass the buck for the centuries of horror they have inflicted upon others.

            Andrew, you are still an idiot :D

  4. The real cause of scuttling the pipeline is shale gas. They cannot get financing. As for the oil spill, it is caused by the fact that the BP well is the largest well in the history of the world. The pressures would have blown out any well.

    • Francis Smyth-Beresford

      Do me a favour, will you, Ron? Look up a few facts about shale gas, before you start attributing double happiness everywhere to shale gas – do you work for a shale gas extraction company or something? No matter what the subject is, you’re ready to cure all ills with shale gas.

      Wikipedia – which I think is a trash reference, but it seems to be the preferred standard for Russophobes – points out that shale gas is more expensive to extract than conventional natural gas, and it’s only when prices climb sky-high that recovery is economically feasible. The chemicals used in fracturing are virulently toxic, and have already poisoned groundwater in one case. Quantity of oil varies widely from place to place in the same formation, but high-quality sites yield only a couple of barrels to the ton of shale.

      Shale gas has been around for a long time; it didn’t just burst on the scene. The two major extraction companies in the U.S. went belly-up because they couldn’t make it pay.

      I don’t want to rain on your parade, because you seem sincere, if a little uber-Republican. Shale gas offers promise for the days when oil runs out by all other easy extraction methods, but for now, conventional oil and gas extraction are much cheaper.

      The other stuff about the biggest well in history and fearsome pressures that couldn’t be contained by the hand of man is nonsense, I’m afraid. Let’s see some references.

      • Actually FSB, Wikipedia seems to be the standard reference for retarded Russophiles like Voice of Reason, and a multitude of other idiotic Russian apologists.

        You are a cretin.

        • Srakatvelophobe

          Sheni deda movtkan, shen dedas shevetsi. Churka nosataja.

        • Wikipedia is far more independent than COLD WAR, US sources, right Andrew? If you forgot what I am talking about ( which is likely ), then have a look at the drivel you posted on the article “Scandal and shame of the Red Partisans”.

          Jeez, I have heard of freakishly moronic Russophobes, but you are just one of the stupidest and brainwashed fools ever to have posted on this site.

          It is you, my friend, who seems to be suffering from cretinism. Especially the neo-fascist Russophobic sort.

          It would be nice to talk CALMLY on this blog, but the Russophobes here don’t understand what calmness is, they have to be treated like children.

  5. Who cares about Bulgaria, the Ukraine is now more reliable.

    • Not really, Ukraine just told Russia to “eff off” over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and Yanukovich bluntly told Putinist Russia that its actions in Georgia are illegal.

      • Ukraine has its own regional problems. Spain and Slovakia, both NATO countries have the same and they told US to f-off on Kosovo. ;-) Besides the question of these Georgian regions has little to do with the transit of gas. ;-)

  6. Ethnic riots wracked southern Kyrgyzstan on Saturday, forcing thousands of Uzbeks to flee as their homes were torched by roving mobs of Kyrgyz men. The interim government begged Russia for troops to stop the violence, but the Kremlin offered only humanitarian assistance.


    At least 77 people were reported killed and more than 1,000 wounded in the violence spreading across the impoverished Central Asian nation that hosts U.S. and Russian air bases.

    Much of its second-largest city, Osh, was on fire Saturday and the sky overhead was black with smoke. Roving mobs of young Kyrgyz men armed with firearms and metal bars marched on minority Uzbek neighborhoods and set homes on fire, forcing thousands of Uzbeks to flee. Stores were looted and the city was running out of food.

    Kyrgyzstan’s third straight day of rioting also engulfed another major southern city, Jalal-Abad, where a rampaging mob burned a university, besieged a police station and seized an armored vehicle and other weapons from a local military unit.

    “It’s a real war,” said local political leader Omurbek Suvanaliyev. “Everything is burning, and bodies are lying on the streets.”

    Those driven from their homes rushed toward the border with Uzbekistan, and an Associated Press reporter there saw the bodies of children trampled to death in the panicky stampede. Crowds of frightened women and children made flimsy bridges out of planks and ladders to cross the ditches marking the border.

    • Russia has about 500 troops at a base in Kyrgyzstan, mostly air force personnel. The US has the Manas air base in the capital, Bishkek, a crucial supply hub for the coalition fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Kyrgyzstan’s interim government spokesman, Farid Niyazov, refused to say whether the country would turn to the US for military help after Russia had refused. “Russia is our main strategic partner,” he said.


      In mainly Uzbek areas on the edge of Osh, residents painted the letters “SOS” on the road in a futile bid for help from the violence that began late Thursday.

      • Rusian “humanitarian assisstance” arrived:

        Russia sent hundreds of paratroopers to Kyrgyzstan on Sunday to protect its military facilities, Interfax reported, as ethnic clashes spread in the Central Asian state, bringing the death toll from days of fighting to 97.

        Ethnic Uzbeks in a besieged neighbourhood of Kyrgyzstan’s second city Osh said gangs, aided by the military, were carrying out genocide, burning residents out of their homes and shooting them as they fled. Witnesses saw bodies lying on the streets.

        Interfax news agency, citing a security source, said a battalion of Russian paratroopers had arrived in the country on Sunday to help protect Russian military facilities.


        The interim government in Kyrgyzstan, which took power in April after a popular revolt toppled president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, has appealed for Russian help to quell the riots in the south. Bakiyev, exiled in Belarus, said Kyrgyzstan was on the verge of collapse.

        “God help us! They are killing Uzbeks like animals. Almost the whole city is in flames,” Dilmurad Ishanov, an ethnic Uzbek human rights worker, said by telephone from Osh.

        Led by Roza Otunbayeva, the interim government has sent a volunteer force to the south and granted shoot-to-kill powers to its security forces in response to the deadly riots, which began in Osh late on Thursday before spreading to Jalalabad.

        “Residents are calling us and saying soldiers are firing at them. There’s an order to shoot the marauders, but they aren’t shooting them,” said ex-parliamentary deputy Alisher Sabirov, a peacekeeping volunteer in Osh. Takhir Maksitov of human rights group Citizens Against Corruption said: “This is genocide.”

        • A Russian army battalion is usually around 400 men, but Interfax referred to a “reinforced battalion,” which can include as many as 650 troops.

          “The mission of the force that has landed is to reinforce the defense of Russian military facilities and ensure security of Russian military servicemen and their families,” the source was quoted as saying.


          Retired builder Habibullah Khurulayev, 69, said he was afraid to leave his apartment in the besieged district of Osh. Uzbeks armed with hunting rifles manned improvised barricades to keep out Kyrgyz gangs with automatic rifles, he said.

          The gangs had attacked a hospital 600 meters from his home, while pleas by Uzbeks for a military escort to the border 10 km (6 miles) away had been ignored, he said.

          “They are killing us with impunity,” he said. “The police are doing nothing. They are helping them kill us … There are not many of us left to shoot.”

          • The International Committee of the Red Cross says people are being killed in such numbers in Kyrgyzstan that they are being buried without being identified.

            “We are extremely concerned about the nature of the violence that is taking place and are getting reports of severe brutality, with an intent to kill and harm. The authorities are completely overwhelmed, as are the emergency services. The armed and security forces must do everything they can to protect the vulnerable and ensure that hospitals, ambulances, medical staff and other emergency services are not attacked,” said Séverine Chappaz, the deputy head of the ICRC’s mission in Kyrgyzstan, who is currently in Osh.


            Some comments:

            In 2008 Russia invaded Georgia because of a faked “genocide” of Ossetians.

            But when a real genocide is taking place in the former Soviet Union, and the Moscow-friendly government actually asks Russia to send soldiers to help stop it, the Kremlin refuses.

            Also of course Obama administration does nothing.

            Oh wait, he does something:

            U.S. President Obama extends congratulations on Russia Day


            “Today, our two nations continue in our strong partnership, mutual respect and friendship, and I am proud of the new START Treaty and our joint efforts to reduce our nuclear arsenals. Beyond that, our two nations continue to expand our commercial and economic ties,” he said.

  7. For you shale gas deniers, shale gas bearing rock has always been there well documented by the oil drillers. The problem was to get the gas out of the rock. Heretofore it was necessary to find pockets of gas that would flow. Now with new technology horizontal drilling is possible and suddenly the world is awash in natural gas. Qatar is retiring LNG ships. USA is getting ready to export. Everybody has massive quantities of gas including Poland and the Ukraine. UK, France and Germany have huge quantities. Middle eastern energy suppliers will soon need to find a new way to make a living. Keeping goats may be the best they can do. The thankless job of putting up with Islam will soon be over.

  8. But you’ll still be barbarians!

    • That’s what the Romans also thought about the Goths. :-))

      • Well, they were right about that weren’t they.

        • Yes, and defenseless too. :-))

          • Yes, well thats the difference.

            The Russian military is a joke, and in any remotely equal conflict, say Russia V Western Europe, would fail spectacularly.

            The US military would have the Russians for breakfast.

        • Andrew,

          No, Goths were hardly bloodthirsty hordes from the myth. They were like a enormous wave of desperate refugees:

          The contrast between the merciless conduct of warfare and the political pragmatism of Roman bureaucrats and legislators, who pressed for economic sanctions and compulsory recruitment of young Goths to be used as cannon fodder in the Middle East, and the humanitarian and progressive slogans of the elite, intent on incorporating their northern neighbors into Roman society, was truly noteworthy. Themistius, a senator and a philosopher, stated that just as the Romans strove to protect endangered species of animals in Africa and Asia, so the emperor should be praised for not annihilating the Goths in 369, who are human beings, like the Romans. This oration, like several others, as for instance those delivered by Libanius, encapsulates the universalistic and civilizing thrust of late Roman imperialism. Roman generals probably envisioned genocidal schemes, but they were unpalatable for a political leadership that offered security and literacy in return for loyalty, recruits, and tax money. Rome was to set an example for all other peoples.

          When the Huns, a fierce nomadic population whose existence had never been recorded in Roman history, pushed the frightened Goths southward, the gap existing between humanitarian rhetoric and Realpolitik became obvious. Thousands of starving Gothic refugees, fleeing from a cruel enemy, reached the riverbanks of the Danube and pleaded for acceptance within the Roman borders. The emperor’s counselors saw a huge opportunity: The Goths would be allotted less fertile lands, and many of them would join the army and exempt an equal number of Roman citizens from military service. They were transported across the river and immigration officers attempted to record their names in order to plan their resettlement. But the sheer number of refugees and the confusion were so huge that they realized the futility of such an operation.

          They opted to take advantage of the situation by accepting bribes and selecting slaves for their own villas. Meanwhile, other tribes had been informed that the border was open and the mass of refugees kept growing until the alarmed Roman functionaries decided that the maximum quota had been reached and left thousands of furious Goths on the other side of the Danube. Worse still, refugee camps were flooded with people who did not receive enough supplies because the commanding officers sold the provisions that had been destined to the refugees on the black market. When they were finally escorted to relocation areas by the frontier garrisons, thousands of Goths who had been overlooked crossed the river clandestinely.


  9. The Romans were SOBs that taxed and enslaved the hell out of everybody. They got what they deserved. Putin and the criminal gang in the kremlin deserve the same. Shale gas will help reduce the power of the evil ones especially the bastards in the kremlin.

    Also shale gas burn produces oderless, harmless CO2 which will help our trees and crops to grow.

  10. Environmentalist brains are almost completely nonfunctional. This is a given. Wikipedia is a valuable source for some things, but its editor is a moron lefty.

    Listen up to a 2 + 2 = 4 analysis. GAS PRICE HAS CRASHED. Supplies and consumption is increasing. QED.

    • Ron // June 13, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Reply

      Wikipedia is a valuable source for some things, but its editor is a moron lefty.

      Oh. Did you really mean it?

  11. Popular backing of ‘Primorsky partisans’ bears a frightening message for Moscow, analysts say

    Paul Goble

    The actions of the six men who have become known as “the Primorsky partisans” by themselves represented no real threat beyond their locality, but what popular reaction to them has been says about the current situation in the Russian Federation should be a matter of utmost concern.

    Since the events in Primorsky kray at the end of May – for a chronology of them, see http://www.dpni.org/articles/lenta_novo/15891/ — Russian commentators and officials both in the print and electronic media have been trying to make sense of them with descriptions ranging from an anomic outburst of violence to the beginning of a radical revolutionary movement.

    But in the last two weeks, most mainstream writers have focused less on the actions of “the partisans” than on how people in the region and across Russia have reacted to them and have concluded that these reactions are far more serious threats to the country than “the partisans” themselves could ever be.

    An example of this kind is a commentary that appeared on Gazeta.ru last week. Its basic and disturbing conclusion is that “the Primorye tragedy shows that [Russian] society no longer agrees to recognize in an unqualified fashion the monopoly of the government for the use of force (www.gazeta.ru/comments/2010/06/09_e_3382484.shtml).

    The events in Primorsky kray, “where MVD forces attempted to liquidate an armed group which declared a right-radical set of goals and committed a number of attacks on employees of the law enforcement organs,” the paper said, “demonstrate a terrifying picture of the situation of minds in Russia.”

    There have been various explanations for why the six men took action, but regardless of their reasons, what is most striking is “the mass support which the citizenry expressed to people who by the laws of any country had committed and were continuing to commit crimes of violence.”

    Some of the support for “the partisans” reflects backing for the program offered in the radical right manifesto, “which was posted on the Internet in the name of the members of the group.” But most of those who support such actions have done so and continue to do so for what is ultimately a more disturbing reason.
    “These are people,” Gazeta.ru continues, “who do not see in the domestic law enforcement system anything except bands of dishonest people willing to use force for their own purposes and with whom it is necessary [for the Russian population] to struggle against by means of terrorist methods.”

    This sense is illegitimate is not something that “was achieved by the activities of ‘the band of partisans’ and not by the manifestos of Nazis.” Instead, it is a product of the actions of “the state machine itself and [especially] by the force structures, which should have a monopoly of force recognized as legitimate by the population.”

    By reacting to “the partisans” in the way that it did, the population shows that it “no longer agrees in an unqualified form the monopoly of the state on the use of force.” And that means that “it is ever more difficult for the state to use this monopoly against real criminals because [the state itself] is under suspicion.” “This is genuinely terrible,” the commentary says.

    This “discrediting of law enforcement organs, the judicial system, and the special forces which have realized this by their own actions,” Gazeta.ru says, “is transforming the situation from a problem of state construction and reform into an occasion for a bloody uprising,” a far more serious danger.

    And no one should “deceive himself” that such a rising would be “cleansing.” It would not have “any other effect besides destruction.” And this “problem will not disappear” even if the powers that be are able to capture or kill any people who seek to follow the path of the Primorsky “partisans.”

    Every country has “extremist ‘militias’” which seek to take the law into their own hands, but in Russia, the events in Primorsky kray suggest, the willingness of the population to support them will “only grow,” even in the case of “the most successful operations” to subdue them. And it appears, Gazeta.ru concludes, that the time for doing so in a bloodless fashion is running out.

    If that conclusion appears apocalyptic, it is nothing compared to some of the comments in the Russian blogosphere. Some suggested “the partisans” had “broken the taboo” on violence against officials, opening the way for more (www.apn-spb.ru/column/article7438.htm and folksland.net/m/articles/view/Dmitro-Korchinskiy-Tabu-narushennoe-odnazhdy-uzhe-ne-budet-soblyudatsya).

    And others pointed out that the fact that the population and the media were calling the people who took part in this violence “forest brothers” or “partisans’ has its own message. If those resisting the powers that be are partisans, then that implies, they suggest that the powers that be are an occupying force (www.anvictory.org/index.php?name=pages&op=view&id=707).

    But such an online discussion could not take place in Russia without someone suggesting that “the Primorsky partisans” were a provocation by unnamed officials who somehow planned to use both the actions of the gang and the popular reaction to them for their own, clearly nefarious purposes (news.babr.ru/?IDE=86494).

    • The authorities have launched a massive manhunt for the gang, accused of killing one policeman and wounding three in a series of brutal attacks in the far-flung region bordering China using knives and automatic weapons.

      But in a country where the police are deeply unloved, they have still been dubbed by the media as “Robin Hoods,” after the medieval outlaw of English folklore who robbed the rich and gave to the poor.

      Over 71 percent of callers to the Echo of Moscow radio said that te attackers were “Robin Hoods” compared to 29 percent who called them mere bandits, during a phone-in taken on Wednesday.


      Several of the gang have military training and one served in Chechnya, sources in the security services were cited by RIA Novosti as saying.

      The public support for the gang underlines what critics say is near-daily abuse of office by the police forces, whose officers are regularly accused of violent crime and bribe-taking.

      In November, the country’s interior minister even stressed members of the public had the right to use self-defense against abusive police officers.

      The father of one of the suspects blamed “the lawlessness of the Russian police” for the attacks, saying his 18-year-old son Roman has been severely beaten by police officers before he fled home.

      “They are all boys who have suffered at the hands of the police,” Vladimir Savchenko said Wednesday in a radio interview with the Russian News Service.

      • Comments posted by Internet users in the Primorsky region during the manhunt suggested that many local residents are siding with the gang members and not the police.

        An unnamed law enforcement official told the Russian news agency Interfax that Muromtsev had written letters to the authorities, including to the Primorsky regional police department, demanding an end to police corruption, bribe-taking, and arbitrary police actions.

        The source told Interfax that Muromtsev had changed his last named to “Prisyazhny” — the Russian word for “juror” — and became affiliated with others who felt victimized by the police.

        Recent examples of police corruption have mounted in Russia, highlighted by the case of former officer Sergei Dymovksy, who gained nationwide attention in November after posting a YouTube video describing unbridled police corruption in his hometown of Novorossiisk.

        Rights groups have long accused police officers of using torture and blackmail, falsifying evidence, and arresting innocent people to meet quotas.

        Under pressure from rising discontent, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in February sacked high-ranking police officials and ordered a crackdown on corruption.

        Lev Gudkov, director of the Moscow-based Levada Center, which tracks public opinion in Russia, told RFE/RL that the persistent problem of police misconduct could well have fueled the Primorsky attacks.

        “What we’ve seen lately is the impossibility of institutionalizing rule of law and democratic procedures, and an increasingly brazen display of administrative arbitrariness on the part of the authorities,” Gudkov said. “Protests are taking on a marginal and extremely aggressive form. This is a symptom of very serious trouble.”


      • For those of you that understand russian:

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