FRIDAY OCTOBER 1 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Michael McFaul, Putin’s Best Friend
(2) Putin: What is wrong with Russia
(3) Russians, Starving
(4) The Tragicomedy known as the Russian Army
(5) CARTOON: Luzhkov’s Final Word
NOTE: LR Publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld’s latest piece on the American Thinker blog details the horrific treachery of one Michael McFaul. Be afraid, be very afraid.
NOTE: More shame and disgrace for Russian women’s tennis as the vaunted Maria Sharapova is summarily booted out of the Pan-Pacific Open by an aging Japanese journeywoman. Ouch.
Michael McFaul, Putin’s Best Friend
Michael McFaul, Best Pal of Putin
In the latest installment of her Russia column on the powerful and influential mega-blog The American Thinker, LR founder and publisher Kim Zigfeld exposes the horrifying treachery of the Hoover Institution‘s Michael McFaul, as he feverishly works to help the fetid, odious Obama administration cover its tracks on Russia. Kim points her finger directly at McFaul, showing how he has betrayed his conservative lineage in favor of the glitz and glamor of the Obama White House, allowing himself to be used as a smokescreen that can help Obama avoid responsibility for his heinous abrogation of American values where Russia policy is concerned.
To this we respond: What about Hoover?
Anders Aslund, writing in the Moscow Times:
Some advice to a young Russian woman: “It is better to marry a top state official than an oligarch. The money is the same, but job security is so much greater.”
All surveys show that Russia’s pervasive corruption is increasingly concentrated to the top. What is the cost of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin? The stock market discount of Russia in relation to Brazil is 45 percent, almost $1 trillion. The Russia risk equals the cost of Putin. It reflects Yukos and other confiscations, as well as Putin’s interference in private business. For example, two years ago, Mechel’s stock price fell by half in the days after Putin’s reckless attack on its main owner.
The Moscow Times reports that Russia is on the verge of a massive nationwide grain shortage. Meanwhile, Russia is slashing farm subsidies by half. Talk about a rock and hard place! Nice work, Mr. Putin!
Russia faces an “acute” grain shortage after the country’s worst drought in at least 50 years and may import more than 6 million metric tons of cereals, SovEcon said Thursday.
The country will have a grain surplus of 4 million tons at most when the next marketing year starts on July 1, 2011, after domestic usage of 77 million tons, the researcher said on its web site. Russian grain supply in the current year will be between 77 million and 81 million tons, it said, calling the Agriculture Ministry’s 90 million-ton estimate “erroneous.”
“There will be a most acute shortage in the market,” SovEcon said. “The country won’t last until the new crop with 4 million tons of inventories.”
Paul Goble reports:
For four years, a Kamchatka journalist says, draftees from Koryak district have not been able to show up for military service because there has been no money from the government to pay for the air fares needed to bring them to central dispatch places, one measure of the difficulties involved in connecting parts of Russia not linked by roads.
But as Vyacheslav Skalatsky shows, the combination of cutbacks in air service to distant locations within the Russian Federation and rapidly increasing prices for air fares has broader consequences, both preventing young men from getting better jobs that military experience can open for them and meaning that people who are ill cannot get medical attention.
When he first reported this, the Kamchatka journalist says, he and his colleagues “understood that the bureaucrats might have not been able to deal with this problem just as with others. But we were not prepared to plumb the depths of their unprofessionalism. Now that has happened, and Skalatsky notes that “the task of bringing draftees to the kray center is only part of a large social problem of the entire Koryak district. Young people [from there] cannot be called to military service as is guaranteed by the Constitution. And then they cannot find more or less attractive work because of the lack of such service.”