FRIDAY AUGUST 27 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: In Russia, Criminals wear Uniforms
(2) EDITORIAL: Russia to Gates, Jobs — Drop Dead!
(3) Russia, Land of Bandits (and Proud of it!)
(4) Latynina Explains why Russians love Criminals
(5) Now, Putin’s Russia is a Kasha-Free Zone
(6) CARTOON: Putin to the Rescue
NOTE: The charges against Boris Nemtsov have been rejected, but Lev Ponomarev has been convicted and sentenced to three days in prison. For waving the Russian flag in public with other patriotic Russians. Well, for planning to before he was arrested for thinking about it. Meanwhile, more copies of Nemtsov’s latest white paper have been seized by Putin’s goons.
NOTE: Great news! At long, long last WordPress has finally embedded DIGG, REDDIT, and STUMBLEUPON icons at the bottom of each one of our posts, alongside the TWEET icon. Now, you can easily use these four services to help publicize our content, and we urge you to do so. If you want to stand up against the Putin dictatorship, create an account with one or more of these services and use it to favorite our content. Help us help the people of Russia to see the light before the final darkness takes them into the final abyss.
In Russia, Criminals wear Uniforms
The symbol you see at the left, a diamond with a black dot in the center, is a coded symbol used among Russian criminals. This particular one means: “Осужден по ст. 144 УК РФ – кража личного имущества.” And that translates as: “Convicted of Art. 144 of the Criminal Code – the theft of personal property.” In other words, it’s the symbol for “thief.” When you get sent to a Russian prison, you may well pass the time by tattooing yourself with such a symbol, if you want proclaim to all the world your pride in being a criminal, and indeed to announce just what sort of felon you are.
You may find this a rather obscure bit of trivia about Russia, and it surely is, until you look at the following photograph taken last weekend on Pushkin Square in Moscow. It’s a photograph of a police colonel confronting Yuri Schevchuk, the Russian Bruce Springsteen, and preventing him from singing with amplification as part of a protest against the Putin dictatorship. We wrote about this event in our last issue.
Russia to Jobs, Gates — Drop Dead!
One thing that we here at LR, as visitors to Russia, have always found at once both most hilarious and most obscene about this benighted, fetid land is the Russian attempt to test foreigners for diseases like AIDS before allowing them to dwell within Russian borders. That Russia, one of the world’s worst breeding grounds for diseases of all kinds, would think itself endangered by American tourists says all you really need to know about just how truly barbaric Russia really is.
But there are plenty of other examples. In their recent Moscow Times column, for instance, Ian Pryde and Suzanne Stafford of Eurasia Strategy & Communications in Moscow point out that if either of two most famous computer experts on this planet, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, wanted to try to set up a business in Russia, they would get simple response: “Drop dead!”
The New York Times reports:
On the Internet, he was known as BadB, a disembodied criminal flitting from one server to another selling stolen credit card numbers despite being pursued by the United States Secret Service.
And in real life, he was nearly as untouchable — because he lived in Russia.
BadB’s real name is Vladislav A. Horohorin, according to a statement released last week by the United States Justice Department, and he was a resident of Moscow before his arrest by the police in France during a trip to that country earlier this month.
He is expected to appear soon before a French court that will decide on his potential extradition to the United States, where Mr. Horohorin could face up to 12 years in prison and a fine of $500,000 if he is convicted on charges of fraud and identity theft. For at least nine months, however, he lived openly in Moscow as one of the world’s most wanted computer criminals.
The seizing of BadB provides a lens onto the shadowy world of Russian hackers, the often well-educated and sometimes darkly ingenious programmers who pose a recognized security threat to online commerce — besides being global spam nuisances — who often seem to operate with relative impunity.
Yulia Latynina, writing in the Moscow Times:
Once again, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has expressed support for a Russian citizen wanted by the United States. This time, the person in question is Viktor Bout, the suspected arms dealer whom a Thai court ruled last Friday should be extradited to the United States to face trial. “I assure you that we will continue to do everything necessary to push for his return to his homeland,” Lavrov said, adding that the court decision was “unlawful and political.”