EDITORIAL: Sobyanin Cracks Down


Sobyanin Cracks Down

Finding a juicy hotdog lathered in ketchup has gotten a bit harder since Mayor Sergei Sobyanin took office. Forty of the 150 Stardog!s hotdog stands dotting Moscow have been shut down over the past week, and another 20 are expected to be closed shortly, said Sergei Rak, director for development with Markon, the private company that runs the Stardog!s chain.

— The Moscow Times, November 15, 2010

Moscow’s new mayor, it seems, is a cheeseburger man.  And he’s responded to his desires exactly the way Josef Stalin would have done if Moscow’s streets had been peppered with repugnant hot-dog stands in his time:  He’s shut them down.  The MT reports that Sobyanin’s minions “studied Markon’s leases for the hotdog stands in hope of finding errors that would justify their cancellation. Finding none, they said bluntly, ‘Close! At any rate, you are not going to work here anymore’.”  The MT continues:

A visit by Sobyanin to the Ulitsa 1905 Goda metro station during an Oct. 30 city tour promoted the kiosk crackdown. Sobyanin complained that the kiosks blocked the view of a historical monument and were located too close to the metro station. The head of the Presnensky district, where the metro station is located, was fired on the spot, together with the head of the central Tverskoi district. The official reason given for the dismissals was that the officials’ work contracts expired Nov. 8, RIA-Novosti reported.

Now we ask you, dear reader:  How is this behavior any different than Stalin’s would have been?  Is Russia’s really the type of economy that can afford to wipe out hundreds of thriving small businesses on a daily basis in an arbitrary, unpredictable, nakedly illegal manner, thus sending a clear message that setting up any such business is a gamble at best?

We think not.

Just a few weeks ago, Sobyanin had declared:  “Small and medium-sized businesses are in need of aid.”Referring to bureaucratic barriers for small business startups in Moscow, he said: “We should take them away. Then there will be a completely different investment climate.”  Any number of kiosks might have opened specifically in reliance on these words, only to have the rugged yanked out from under them just as the Russian regime has done to so may others, domestic and foreign alike, for so many years now.

14 responses to “EDITORIAL: Sobyanin Cracks Down

  1. AAH! but beware of Russians eating and liking foreign foods, especially American foods. And why? Because the CIA, no doubt, puts mind-altering drugs in those hot dogs, causing otherwise loyal to the Fatherland, simple minded Russians, to turn against their country, and start to act like Americans, -demanding all kinds of outrageous rights and freedoms and other non-Russian nonsense!
    And, where can that all end?
    Next, Russians will demand apple pie! with their hotdogs! GADZUKES!

    • Especially American food? You’re sick.

      French and Italian wines, cheeses, Polish apples, yes, German beer – maybe.

      In several categories, such as juices, milk and milk products, meat products, pastry and bread, Russian market consists for almost 100% of Russian-made products.

      But American food “liked” by Russians? Genetically modified corn? Salty fast food? Nitrates sold as chicken? You’re sick. USia is known for unhealthy food all around the world, and Russia is no exception.

      • Next time you have a famine, you should proudly decline our inferior American food and just die from starvation. Still, I recall our food was not too bad last time your were begging for it on your hands and knees.

        • RV, a very silly and provocative off-top from you above, but I just don’t want to start discussing Russian history.

          Just make sure you ask 3-4 random foreigners around (hope you have any non-Americans around), and you’ll see what other peoples think of the American food.

      • Well, poor Dmitry,
        Once again, you show your ignorance of America, with your reply of your gingoistic propaganda claptrap.
        In America, because we are composed of peoples and their cultures, from all over the world, we have at our disposal ALL of the foods you mention above, especially all the European items you list, plus more.
        ‘American foods’ consist of, thus, any and all culinary foods of the entire earth, including many typical Russian dishes/fast foods as peroshki, etc. too, as we have here, LOTS of Russians.
        In all of our major cities, and even in our smaller cities too, one can easily obtain these varied international foods.
        Too bad for you, that all you seem to be familiar with, are some of our world-popular ‘fast-foods’. Hotdogs, of course, were a German-American -thing, just another form of kolbasa-sausages, or weinerschnitzel.
        And, are you actually trying to assert, that ‘American food’ is somehow, unhealthy or contaminated with chemicals? If that is so, then….so are the foods of all other nations, most especially Russia, where as we know, there is corruption in all governmental agencies, and WHO inspects YOUR food, for purity? In America, we have many levels of private and governmental agencies, constantly testing and checking our food supplies, and when there is a problem, WE MAKE IT PUBLIC! Do you?

      • dymassza;
        What a sophisticated choices on the russian table; French, Italian wines, cheeses, Polish applese, German beer – yeah in your sick imagination – what about grass and kvas, and .. I think that all – did I miss anything dear dymasza????

      • dymasza,
        Nitrates sold as chicken saved your lives in 1998, when you stupid russians were on the verge of total collapse and famine – you ate so called Bushes chicken otherwise you russians would be dead..

  2. “Now we ask you, dear reader: How is this behavior any different than Stalin’s would have been?”

    I can think of a difference or two.

    • So ‘dear’ Futility? you “can think of a difference or two” my, my only a difference or two? what, can’t you count above two (how just like monkeys – they too cannot count above two either).

      I personally can give you at least ten good reasons!

      Want to compare your “difference or two” just name it/them and I will then list my more accurate differences, dear comrade, or is it Kamerad on account of the ‘nashi’ modeling themselves on the Nazis now.

      • Look buddy, I realise that English isn’t your first language, but you’re going to have to try to understand simple sentences and turns of phrase for us to be able to communicate productively. Or, indeed, at all.

  3. Demologing of the kiosks was the subject of the last update at his LJ http://kashin.livejournal.com/ before he was attacked.

  4. You’ve obviously never eaten anything from Stardog!s, it’s terrible.

    Don’t picture “juicy hotdog” – but a stale bread tube with a boiled -high water-content- sausage. Extra ketchup to make it taste of anything. It has nothing in common with its US conterpart aside from the name. Loosing their sprawling network of sidewalk booths is no great loss to the city.

    I know that’s not your point but this isn’t a particularly significant issue to criticise Sobyanin over. Lets see how he does on the traffic problems and the corruption.


    Perhaps you don’t know everything, Nick, is that at all possible?

    You’ve obviously not eaten much Russian cuisine. Much that is repugnant in the West is lapped up as ambrosia in Russia. Read about Russian cuisine by clicking the category in our sidebar.

    And whether the food is delicious or not is totally irrelevant. We are talking about legal rights of small business owners and the clear hypocrisy at issue here. Your suggestion that we give this maniac the benefit of the doubt is absurd on its face. Perhaps you’d have given the same courtsey to Hitler? No thanks! That’s how Stalin was able to consolidate his power.

  5. BTW your link to The MT is wrong

    Article states that this is part of his initiative to sort out the Moscow traffic. If it works, good luck to him. The entire city is grinding to a halt at the moment, this is the No.1 issue for him to resolve.


    Thanks for the correction!

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