WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 8 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Putin’s Internet Crackdown in Russia
(2) EDITORIAL: Yashin 1, Nashi 0
(3) The Blogosophere vs. Vladimir Putin
(4) Pigs, Dogs and Sheep in Putin’s Russia
(5) Russians are Rejected Abkhazia and Ossetia
NOTE: In the latest installment of her Russia column on the mighty Pajamas Media megablog, LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld reflects on the Kremlin’s growing aggression towards hero journalist Yevgenia Albats as it seeks to drive her New Times magazine out of business. When will President Obama speak up for American values? Likely never.
Putin’s Internet Crackdown in Russia
Rustem Adagamov says: “The Internet is the last free territory [in Russia] — but it won’t stay that way for long.”
He’d know. He’s the most widely-read blogger in Russia, holding forth as “Drugoi” (“The Other”) on Live Journal.
You don’t have to look hard to find examples that prove he’s right.
Yashin 1, Nashi 0
It’s a mark of how odious and vile the Putin personality cult known as “Nashi” really is that not even Russian courts can stomach it.
Last week, a Moscow court ruled that Nashi’s outrageous lawsuit against opposition leader Ilya Yashin was frivolous, and tossed Nashi out of court on its ear.
The Moscow Times reports:
Victor Davidoff, writing in the Moscow Times:
A few weeks ago the Russian blogosphere was shocked by a story out of Vladivostok involving a single mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer. The waiting list for an operation was so long that she decided to take her fate into her own hands. Since she had four years of medical school education, she gave herself a local anesthetic, picked up a scalpel and excised the tumor. She did the operation in her living room, having first closed her two daughters in the kitchen.
As barbaric as this case was, it reflected a remarkable change in the Russian mentality. Russians are beginning to give up the flawed belief, grounded in decades of Soviet paternalism, that the government should solve their problems. Now, they are taking charge of their own affairs.
Alexei Bayer, writing in the Moscow Times:
George Orwell’s anti-utopian novel “1984” enjoyed a revival during the presidency of George W. Bush. Even though Orwell’s totalitarian future is now more than a quarter-century out of date, the book read like a collection of newspaper headlines. The current government in Washington also pays homage to “1984.” The recent U.S. withdrawal from Iraq can be described in Orwellian newspeak, “peace is war.”
Orwell’s other masterpiece, “Animal Farm,” is a wickedly funny look at the Bolshevik Revolution and Stalinism. But since communism has collapsed and its hypocrisies and evils have been condemned by most thinking persons inside and outside Russia, there seems little point in revisiting this work.
Not so. Published in 1945, “Animal Farm” satirizes Soviet history through World War II but also takes it far into the future. With extraordinary prescience, it paints a picture of post-Communist Russia that is extremely accurate even for our own times.
Paul Goble reports:
Two years after Moscow recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia, a step the Russian people overwhelmingly backed as a signal that their country could stand up to Georgia and the West, the failure of many other countries to recognize these republics and the high cost of supporting the two new states have combined to reduce public backing for them.
In an article posted online, Mikhail Smilyan says that polls show “ever fewer [Russians] remain support recognition of South Ossetia” and that they are less prepared to continue to provide assistance to that republic.
Drawing on poll results collected by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM), Smilyan notes that fewer Russians are paying attention to the political aspects of Moscow’s decision and more to the actual costs of supporting these republics.