Daily Archives: July 11, 2010

July 14, 2010 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  Clinton and Saakashvili

(2)  OPED:  Lavrov and World War II

(3)  The Kremlin, Bribing Bloggers

(4)  Russians, fighting back against Putin

(5)  Why Putin’s Schemes must fail and Collapse

NOTE:  Another shocking, humiliating sports disaster for Russia.

EDITORIAL: Clinton and Saakashvili

Clinton and Saakashvili in Tbilisi last week


Clinton and Saakashvili

Russians were appalled and terrified last week to see U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Tbilisi drinking a toast with the Kremlin’s public enemy #1, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

They denied it, of course.  Just the same way that, a few days earlier, they had denied the spies arrested in the United States were Russian.  Soon, however, they were forced to admit their denials were pathetic lies, and that the spies were in fact Russian citizens. Soon, they were bartering for the release of those spies they said did not exist.

We can imagine the thoughts racing through the rodent-like “minds” of the KGB spies who rule the Kremlin, the same spies whose pathetic plans were exposed in the United States, when viewing the photograph at the head of this column.

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COLUMNIST: Lavrov on Russia, Britain and World War II

Sergei Lavrov: Britain Caused WWII, Russia saved Europe

by “George X”

Original to La Russophobe

Many people will be aware from its coverage in the Western media of the statements by Medvedev earlier this year from an article in Izvestia repudiating the “totalitarian” Soviet Union. He said that Stalin had committed unforgivable crimes regardless of any progress made by the Soviet Union under his rule. He refused to allow Stalin’s portraits to be displayed in the Victory Day parade. He even said, “We ourselves allowed history to be falsified”. (Although that last sentence is pretty ambiguous when you think about it.)

Why then has there been no coverage of a contrasting point of view expressed by Medvedev’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov before the Victory Day parade? In fact, by searching for this article which I read quotations from, I came across a website which is really best ignored…except that it speaks volumes about what the largely ex-KGB/FSB members of the current Russian government really think, or at least want others to think.

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The Putin Kremlin, Bribing Bloggers

Global Voices reports on the only way Vladimir Putin can win friends and influence people (other than crude violence).  Note the false analogy to the U.S. — there is no evidence of the American police forces paying bloggers to paper over their human-rights abuses for cash, and if there were it would be a gigantic international scandal.  Procter & Gamble paying a consumer blogger to say he likes Head & Shoulders is hardly the same as the Russian state paying a political blogger to say the police don’t crack skulls.

Recently, Roman Dobrokhotov, a Russian blogger and political activist (who was interviewed by GV [EN] last year), has conducted an investigation [RUS] on how paid blogger networks function in the Russian blogosphere. He wrote that different representatives of the paid blogger network had contacted him three times, offering from $23 to $50 per post. Every blogger who agrees to provide content for a fee is supposed to choose a unique angle when writing about a certain topic. The latest offer that Dobrokhotov received was quite unusual: to write positive comments about the Russian police:

A manager of the company Garin-studio offered me to post a whole series of posts with some positive content about the police. For the first post – 2,000 rubles ($63), all others – 1,000 rubles each ($31). I’ve managed to unearth more detailed information. It turned out that the client of the company is the federal Ministry of the Interior, not the Moscow Police Department; what is even more interesting, the order was from the Department of Internal Security [which is supposed to control and monitor the police itself] (aha, so that’s what they do!). There are 50 bloggers involved in this project, though with some of them, with the most popular (for example, with Radulova), the client is in direct contact. Garin-studio, as far as I understood, isn’t the only contractor used by [the Ministry of the Interior].

Other bloggers spotted [RUS] some nearly simultaneous posts with positive comments about the police at Natalia Radulova’s blog [RUS] and at another popular blog by Maxim Aleksandrov [RUS].

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Russians, fighting back Against Putin

In another excellent piece of reporting on Russia, the New York Times documents how Russians are fighting back against the Putin Kremlin, and how it is cracking down on them with barbaric neo-Soviet force.  The piece includes several protest Youtubes by Russians translated into English.

LISTVYANKA, Russia — On the edge of this Siberian village is a resort with a veiled guest list and armed guards at the front gate. When local officials have expressed unease about what goes on inside, the reply has always been the same: do not interfere.

Two and half years ago, the village’s mayor, Tatyana Kazakova, had enough. A major construction project at the resort had exposed a hot water main, threatening the heating supply for the entire village as temperatures plunged to 30 degrees below zero.

Ms. Kazakova was not a typical bureaucrat. She was one of the most successful businesswomen in this vast region, a real-estate magnate with a blond ponytail who represented a new breed of Russian entrepreneur.

She filed a lawsuit against the resort, and asked the regional prosecutor to open a criminal inquiry.

A criminal inquiry was indeed opened — against Ms. Kazakova.

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Why Putin’s Schemes must Fail and Collapse

Vladimir Voinovich

Novelist Vladimir Voinovich, writing in the Moscow Times:

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin insists that “without normal democratic development, Russia will have no future.” We Russians are pleased to hear these enlightened words, yet Putin adds a “but” to his argument that renders his points senseless.

We have hated this “but,” this coordinating conjunction, ever since the dawn of the Soviet era. Then we were told that freedom is good, but that one can’t live in an individualist society without common concern for the communist state. Democracy is great, but only in the interests of the working class.

Now Russia’s prime minister tells us that democracy is indeed great, but that public protests cannot take place around hospitals and such. Never mind that the Russian Constitution does not list hospitals among places forbidden for public assembly.

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