The Four Russian Musketeers
From left: Ryzhkov, Kasyanov, Nemtsov and Milov declare war on Putin
Last week in Moscow four of the most formidable opponents of the Putin dictatorship openly joined forces in Moscow: They included a former prime minister (Mikhail Kasyanov), a former first deputy prime minister (Boris Nemtsov), a former leading opposition parliamentarian (Vladimir Ryzkhkov) and a former high-ranking executive official from the Kremlin (Vladimir Milov). They call their group “Russia Without Corruption and Lawlessness.” They were clear in their motivations: “The prospect of having the great Putin till the year 2024 in our country is a disaster for Russia,” Nemtsov said.
The Kremlin is worried, and well it should be. This formidable quartet has every necessary qualification to unseat the Putin regime.
Arkady Dvorkovich, Lying Bastard
Arkady Dvorkovich: Pretty scary looking, huh?
Writing on Huffington Post last week Arkady Dvorkovich, the chief economic adviser to Russia’s sham “president” Dima Medvedev, spewed forth a torrent of shameless lies and distortions about Medvedev’s record on technology innovation.
Dvorkovich listed seven specific alleged achievements of the Medvedev regime, each one more specious and dishonest than the next. Here his what he said in his own malignant words:
Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan , co-founders of Agentura.ru, writing in The Moscow Times:
In December 2000, then-director of the Federal Security Service Nikolai Patrushev proudly described the FSB’s rank and file: “Our best colleagues, the honor and pride of the FSB, don’t do their work for the money,” he said in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda. “They all look different, but there is one very special characteristic that unites all these people, and it is a very important quality. It is their sense of service. They are, if you like, our new nobility.”
Patrushev hit the nail on the head. Throughout the 2000s, the FSB indeed became the country’s new elite, enjoying expanded responsibilities and immunity from public oversight or parliamentary control. Putin made the FSB the main security agency in Russia, allowing it to absorb much of the former KGB and granting it the right to operate abroad, collect information and carry out special operations.
Paul Goble reports:
One out of four people on the streets of the Far Eastern Russian city of Vladivostok are immigrants, but increasingly they come from Central Asia and even the North Caucasus rather than China, a shift that residents there and commentators in Moscow are still trying to adjust to.
An article in the city’s newspaper Zolotoy Rog suggests that workers and their families from the five post-Soviet Central Asian countries form an ever more significant share not only of the migrant flows into Russia’s Far East but also of that region’s population as a whole.