WEDNESDAY JULY 21 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: The Estemirova Fraud
(2) TRANSLATION: Nemtsov Volume III, Final Installment
(3) Essel on Hypcrossiya
(4) EDITORIAL: Russia, Melting
(5) PHOTO: So that’s how he Does it!
NOTE: Today we complete the publication of the third Nemtsov white paper on the Putin economy, via the marvelous efforts of linguistic expert Dave Essel. We’ve put the full white paper online as a PDF, and will have it online as HTML in our next issue.
NOTE: LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld’s latest installment of her Russia column on the mighty Pajamas Media mega blog is up and running, exposing the total collapse of the Obama administration’s policy towards Russia.
NOTE: More sensational athletic humiliation for Russia, this time on the basketball court.
The Estemirova Fraud in Putin’s Russia
We carry a photograph in today’s issue which makes it appear that a malignant Vladimir Putin is controlling a puppet Dima Medvedev by remote control. Truly, one picture is worth a thousand words. Or, in this case, screams.
At a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, Medvedev claimed that the Russian government had identified the killer of hero journalist Natalia Estemirova.
The man Medvedev has fingered for the crime is conveniently dead, therefore there won’t be any trial. He’s conveniently an anti-government militant, therefore apparently neither the Kremlin nor the Kadyrov regime in Chechnya can be blamed. And Medvedev himself admits the Kremlin has no idea who ordered the killing — and the killer being dead, no prospects of identifying him.
It is as if the U.S. government blamed the killing of Martin Luther King on Malcolm X after X was himself murdered. It is farce, in equal parts pathetic and tragic, of a kind only Russia can produce.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fifth and final 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, the second is here, the third is here, the fourth is here and the prior issues are here. The full document is now online as a PDF here. In our next issue we will make the full document available as HTML that can be cut and pasted. Video of Nemtsov and Milov at the press release is 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 SEVEN: Pensions Breakdown
One of Putin’s greatest failures was the mess he made of pensions reform. When he came to power, Putin promised that he would give the country a modern pensions system that would provide the elderly with a decent income and at the same time not make for too great a burden on the budget.
This was achievable – if the country had gone over to a funded pensions system under which pensions are paid not from the contributions of the currently employed and the general budget but from accumulated contributions and the income derived from investing them.
The pensions reform has been a catastrophe. Despite the oil price windfall, pensions have stayed under the official subsistence level throughout Putin’s rule.
The distribution pensions system is cracking at the seams. Back when we published our first report on Putin, we predicted that Russia’s pension fund deficit would hit 1 trillion roubles by 2015.
But our gloomy prognosis was not gloomy enough: the deficit reached 1 trillion 166 billion roubles – 3% of GDP – in 2010! Funding pensions is one of the main drains on Russia’s federal budget today.
by Dave Essel
Words and phrases such as “dual standards”, “genocide”, “human rights”, “democracy” and so on are so over-abused these days that they have practically lost all meaning when spotted in the MSM.
So I was quite pleased the other day to see an article (translated below) which did not bother to use such terms even though the story begged for it.
As Russia swelters under a heat wave, we are watching the very fabric of the nation unravel before our eyes.
More than one thousand people, including many children, have drowned as reckless Russians drink and swim.
The nation’s wheat crop is collapsing.
Its airports are shutting down.
And Russia’s roads are literally melting.
If Russia is undone by a little hot weather (far less hot, by the way, than many other areas of the world are currently experiencing), what would happen if NATO armies were marching across its borders, we can’t help but wonder . . .
It has an effective range of up to 1,000 yards!
Source: Oleg Panfilov’s Facebook.