WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 3 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Russia Crashes another Party
(2) EDITORIAL: Russia, Nation of Thieves
(3) EDITORIAL: Putin’s Demographic Fraud
(4) EDITORIAL: America and her Russian “Guests”
(5) In Russia, a Childish Government for a Childish People
(6) Shame and Humiliation for Russia at the Kremlin Cup
(7) LETTER: Russians Ouraged by Biased Independent Reporting
NOTE: Wikileaks is preparing to blow the lid off Putin’s Russia. Must be for real, the KGB is already issuing crude, criminalistic threats.
NOTE: Blogger Oleg Kozlovsky says that this is a photo of Federal Transit Safety Service head Gennady Kurzenkov’s car. You may notice that it happens to be driving on the wrong side of the road.
NOTE: Who gave Vladimir Putin a shiner?
NOTE: We’ve heard about “don’t feed the bears,” but this is ridiculous. Only in Russia!
Russia Crashes another Party
In another editorial in today’s issue, we highlight the fact that Russia has just been revealed by Transparency International to be the very most corrupt nation in the G-20 organization.
Now it turns out that both Brazil and India, fellow members of the so-called “BRIC” group that includes Russia as well as the G-20, are already disgusted with the organization and are spurning it. This was, of course, supposed to be Russia’s great coming-out party, a new group of independent countries looking to Russia for leadership and acting as a bulwark against a unipolar world dominated by the United States. It is turning out to be another classic Russian boondoggle, an illusion rather than a reality.
Once again, in other words, we see Russia being revealed as a totally isolated country, unsuitable and unqualified for membership in any civilized group of countries and unable to establish a leadership role in any organization. Russia imagines itself a leader, but in fact it is not even a follower.
Russia, Nation of Thieves
Russia’s so-called president spent the last year, according to his own propaganda, furiously working to reduce Russia’s virulent corruption. So naturally, the most recent corruption survey by Transparency International shows that Russia has gotten even worse.
Russia dropped from #146 to #154 in the world in terms of corruption. Only a tiny handful of countries on the entire planet are more corrupt than Russia, and not a single one of the G-20 nations is as corrupt as Russia. TI stated: “There are no significant changes. Regarding corruption, everything remains just as bad as it was.”
Even the Russians themselves are appalled.
Putin’s Demographic Fraud
A recent report on Russian demographics in the Moscow Times contained two stunning facts.
First, the average annual income of a Russian citizen is $7,500. For a full-time worker with two weeks of vacation per year, that translates into an hourly wage of $3.75 per hour. And remember, that’s the average wage, meaning something like half the population earns less. It’s a wage that would be flatly illegal in every American state and every country in Europe. It represents desperate poverty in any civilized country. In Russia, it’s normal. And remember: Russians pay the same prices for things like cars, refrigerators, televisions and computers that people in the West pay, because none of those things are made in Russia.
Second, the Putin regime thinks it’s doing a great job because the birthrate is rising.
America and her Russian “Guests“
Once again, a small army of toxic, venal Russian invaders has been discovered within America’s shores. First it was a nest of spies led by the Mata Hari wannabe Anna Chapman, and now it is cyber criminals.
Hero journalist Yulia Latynina, writing in the Moscow Times:
Any government that is accountable to the people dedicates a substantial amount of time analyzing and reporting on its actions and mistakes. Visitors to the U.S. government and Senate web sites will find hundreds, even thousands, of such reports. An unaccountable government behaves exactly the opposite. Rather than analyzing its mistakes, it makes empty promises, and instead of holding past actions up to scrutiny, it draws attention with predictions about the future.
Nowhere is this unaccountability of the Russian authorities more evident than in this past summer’s wildfires. Three months after much of European Russia was engulfed in toxic smoke, villages burned and people lost their lives, we have no more information about what happened than what was offered at the very outset.
Russian women’s tennis reached a new low last week at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
Russia currently has six players ranked in the world’s top 20, a shocking comedown from its position in prior years (America currently has more top-five players than Russia does). Two-thirds of these Russian players, four of the six, spurned the Kremlin Cup entirely. They were not even interested in stepping on the court for their own country’s most prestigious tournament. The roll of shame: Vera Zvonareva, Yelena Dementieva, Nadia Petrova and Maria Sharapova.
Only the lowest two of the top six deigned to appear in the own country’s tournament: Maria Kirilenko and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Pavlyuchenkova lost her opening round match to an unseeded non-Russian. Kirlenko reached the finals, where she lost in easy straight sets to a non-Russian who was not even the tournament’s top seed. From beginning to end, Russian players produced nothing but disgrace and humiliation for their country, confirming that it remains a sports backwater even among Russians and that Russians simply can’t compete against foreign rivals.
“Dominant” Russians? We think not.
Dear La Russophobe,
You may be aware of the crude propaganda article which appeared in The Independent last month, praising Valentina Matviyenko, the unelected and corrupt governor of St. Petersburg, as ‘Russia’s Thatcher’. That was, of course, a direct consequence of the Independent being sold to a veteran KGB spy Alexander Lebedev. Lebedev also owns the Evening Standard and has today launched another daily newspaper in the UK, called ‘i’.
We have complained about the Matviyenko article to the Press Complaints Commission and they have confirmed yesterday they are investigating it. The complaint is signed by St. Petersburg regional leaders of all major opposition parties and groups (‘Solidarity’, ‘Yabloko’, ‘United Civil Front’, People’s Democratic Party), leaders of St. Petersburg’s independent NGOs (including the city’s association of small businessmen and the trade union of small business employees, as Matviyenko is notorious for her stifling of small businesses), and other eminent Russians in St. Petersburg as well as several Russian exiles in the UK such as Vladimir Bukovsky and myself.
Although we do not discuss the question of undue influence from Lebedev in the text of the complaint, we are quite prepared to make such allegations on the record, tell about the common business interests Lebedev has with Matviyenko, and suggest that’s probably what was behind the article.
One of the issues in the complaint is the controversy about the Gazprom sky-scraper project, designed by the British firm RMJM, which is opposed by many in St. Petersburg. It was recently reported in Russian press that Charles Phu, the project’s chief architect, said at a public meeting that RMJM was getting regular ‘memoranda’ from Putin, encouraging them to go ahead with the project and promising support from the government. It is also reported that Anton Glikin, the Chairman of the Russian division of the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism (INTBAU) has written to the INTBAU’s patron, the Prince of Wales, about Putin’s improper lobbying of the RMJM.
Following the jump is the Complaint filed against The Independent.