Daily Archives: June 22, 2010

June 25, 2010 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL: Fewer and Fewer Russians

(2)  TRANSLATION:  Nemtsov Volume III, Part 2

(3)  Putin as Janus

(4)  Putin’s Theoretical Demography

(5)  The Putin Crackdown Continues

(6)  In Russian Business, it’s “Legal Shmegal”

(7)  TRANSLATION:  Nemtsov Volume III, Part 1

EDITORIAL: Fewer and Fewer Russians


Fewer and Fewer Russians

“Every year there are fewer and fewer Russians, alcoholism, smoking, traffic accidents, the lack of availability of many medical technologies, and environmental problems take millions of lives. And the emerging rise in births has not compensated for our declining population.”

That’s one of our favorite Russophobes, raging.  Anyone can see from his remarks his unbridled contempt for Russia and the people of Russia, and most of all for Russian ruler Vladimir Putin, who after more than a decade in unrestricted power has left his nation on the verge of extinction.  He’s a real Russia-hating bastard for sure, this animal.  He ought to be jailed in Siberia right next to Khodorkovsky.  You know the one we’re talking about, right?

Sure.  Dima Medvedev.

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Another Original LR Translation: Nemtsov Volume III, Part 2

EDITOR’S NOTE:  This is the second installment of our series from Dave Essel translating the latest issue of the Nemtsov White Paper condemning the Putin years.  The first installment is here, and the prior issues are here.

PUTIN: What 10 Years of Putin Have Brought

An independent expert report by
Vladimir Milov and Boris Nemtsov

Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel

CHAPTER THREE:  Russia as Raw Materials Appendage

When “Putin – The Results”, the first edition of our report, was published back in February 2008, Putin was happily boasting about economic successes. On 8 February 2008, he addressed a sitting of the State Council. Talking about the results of his presidency, he made much of the facts that GDP had risen during it and that in 2008 alone Russia had attracted $83 billion on inward investment.

Even then, however, we warned that the economic model being constructed by Putin was just a speculative bubble that could burst at any moment. And that is precisely what happened six months after our report was published: a massive economic crisis broke in Russia in 2008, a crisis far worse than the 1998 default, one which if it is to be compared with anything, then only with the period of the collapse of the Soviet economy and the economic depression of 1992-1994.

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Putin as Janus

The Japan Times has Vladimir Putin’s number (hat tip:  Robert Amsterdam):

Diplomats in many corners of the world are puzzled by what appears to be a fundamental shift in Russia’s foreign policies in recent months, from a strategy based on threat and intimidation to one of a low profile seeking friendship, especially with Western countries. Their consensus, however, is that this shift is only temporary and that Moscow will sooner or later return to its old tactics.

The first sign of such apparent change was noted in the aftermath of a tragic airplane crash that occurred on Russian soil April 10, killing Polish President Lech Kaczyinski and a number of other high government officials of Poland. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin personally led a special committee to investigate the cause of the crash, and accompanied Kaczyinski’s body back to Warsaw.

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Putin’s Theoretical Demography

Paul Goble reports:

Officials at the Russian Ministry of Health and Social Development have rushed to take partial credit for the slight uptick in the number of newborns in the first quarter of 2010, but an analysis of the ministry’s behavior, some in the Russian medical community say, shows that it is engaging in “theoretical demography” for show. That is because, Nadezhda Larina writes in the current  Argumenty Nedeli, the ministry is putting most of its money into a few new showcase perinatal centers in the major cities while ignoring most of the existing birthing centers across the Russian Federation or even putting burdens on the latter which they cannot meet.

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The Putin Crackdown continues despite “Reset”

An editorial in the Washington Post:

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT Dmitry Medvedev tried again on Friday to portray Russia as a “modernizing” country seeking better relations and more investment from the West. “The changes will take time but it will happen,” he declared in the annual economic forum his government puts on in St. Petersburg. “Russia understands the tasks ahead and is changing for itself and for the rest of the world.”

Unfortunately for Mr. Medvedev, that was not the only message out of St. Petersburg. Friday also brought the news that police had waylaid a truck on its way into the city and seized 100,000 copies of a new book written by two senior opposition figures about Vladimir Putin’s first 10 years in power. “Putin, The Results: 10 Years” by Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Milov, argues that the decade’s most notable legacy is a massive tide of corruption and lawlessness — a judgment seemingly confirmed by the truck’s hijacking.

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In Russian business the Motto is: Legal Shmegal

Paul Goble reports:

More than two-thirds of Russian businessmen say playing by “the rules of the game” is more important in their work than obeying the law, with only one in five saying that obeying the law takes primacy over such informal arrangements, according to the results of a poll released at the end of last week.

Commissioned by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the poll by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM) asked 1200 businessmen in the largest sectors of the Russian economy in 40 subjects of the Federation about their attitudes about law and informal rules.

“Two-thirds of the participants of the investigation [conducted last summer] are convinced,” VTsIOM said, “that the priority for [their] enterprises is the observation of accepted ‘rules of the game in the business community’ (69 percent),” while 20 percent said that their priority is “following the letter of the law.” A survey VTsIOM carried out a year earlier, the polling agency said, found that 45 percent thought “rules of the game” were most important, while 41 percent said obeying the law was the most important, a remarkable shift given President Dmitry Medvedev’s frequent invocation of the need for Russia to become a law-based state.

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