November 26, 2010 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  Medvedev the Marauder

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Sobyanin Cracks Down

(3)  EDITORIAL:  Russia is Snob Nation

(4)  Gessen on Kashin

(5)  Russia Defends a Terrorist

(6)  Russia, her Spies and her Lies

(7)  CARTOON:  Russian Evolution

NOTE:  LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld’s latest column on the mighty Pajamas Media blog excoriates the craven Obama regime for its limp response to the Kremlin-sponsored attack on journalist Oleg Kashin.

NOTE:   FIFA has declared Russia unfit to stage the World Cup soccer tournament because it lacks any serious venues and no transportation infrastructure.  Of course, those same factors (and many others) didn’t stop the IOC from crazily and corruptly awarding Russia the Winter Olympics.

NOTE:  If you speak Russian, and even if you don’t, this short history of the USSR via Lego is pretty cool. Super USSR Brothers, on the other hand, requires no Russian at all.

24 responses to “November 26, 2010 — Contents

  1. Jackass Obama met with Medvedev in Spain. This insults our true friends such as Japan.

  2. Hi, links in the update content menu are broken.

    Btw, an another amusing remark from the chief “Russian ally” in the Midle East (following his threats to crush the Russians “in their palaces” and what not):

    “There are some who are under the influence of Satan, and believe that they have the ability to one-sidedly forgo a defence agreement,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech aired by Iranian state television. “They think they can hurt the Iranian people this way.”

    • @”some who are under the influence of Satan”

      Guess who’s Satan in this phrase, silly boy:)

      See, Obama is not the only one being criticised for his reset of relationships with the Satan. Iranians criticise Medvedev about the same reset:)))

      One may think that Iranians and Respublicans have common interests? My, but of course they do:)

  3. “Bazrov (Deputy Prime Minister of North Ossetia Valentin Bazrov, – note of the editor) assured us that the appearance of the building to be retained,” said Aneta Gadieva, a member of the Association of Victims of Terror Acts “Beslan Mothers”. “We think differently: they try to change the appearance of the school and hide the evidences of the incident in September 2004. They remove bullet traces from the walls; and they have already hidden the destruction from the side of Kominterna Street, from where tanks shelled the school canteen, and other reminders of the attack. All the works they do are explained by the need to meet safety regulations: without repairs the school may collapse.”

    Activists fear that “evidences will be completely destroyed.” “We told Bazrov about it,” Ms Gadieva continued. “He explained that there is a definite concept of school restoration. I think that the investigation is not over, and we’ll succeed in lobbying, perhaps, the second investigation, or an international one; but we need facts. And we’re afraid that they will be lost.”

    Journalist Murat Kaboev, author of the books “Rain Cried with Cold Tears” and “Fireball” about the investigation of the Beslan terror act, who was present at victims’ meeting with Valentin Bazrov, Deputy Prime Minister of North Ossetia, and Khodov, Minister of Construction, said that the concerns of the victims are not groundless.

    Mr Kaboev said that works in the school began about three months ago. “Many walls are in emergency condition. On the side of the canteen, where the conference hall is located, the wall was destroyed by tank shells in several places. This wall was completely restored, as if nothing had happened there; that is why people become angry,” he said to the “Caucasian Knot” correspondent.

  4. Dmitry:

    You never did reply to Gessen on Kashin???????????

  5. Why Russians backed anti-police rage

    Six young Russians became so angry about police brutality in their area that they took up arms to fight back. Lucy Ash asks what motivated the group and why so many ordinary Russians supported their extreme actions.


    Public support
    But to the authorities’ disgust, many ordinary Russians back the “Primorsky Partisans”. Graffiti across the city reads “Glory to the Partisans” and “Partisans your courage will not be forgotten”.

    On the seafront, a young sailor tells me the police deserved the treatment they got and added that it “was a brave thing for six guys to do”.

    At the car market, another young man is blunter. “They did the right thing – the police are just legalised bandits,” he says. In Moscow, 71% of callers to a popular radio station supported the description of the youngsters as “Robin Hoods”.

    Two-thirds of Russians fear the police, according to the country’s leading opinion pollster, the Levada Centre. Brutality is commonplace and corruption endemic.

    President Dmitry Medvedev has promised to clean up the force with a police reform bill now going through parliament. Critics say it is more about preventing whistle-blowing than genuine change.

    Mikhail Grishankov, chairman of the parliamentary security committee, sighs noisily when asked about the group.

    “They are bandits and my opinion is, of course, negative, but you have to ask why it happened,” he says.

    Even this former KGB officer who is loyal to the Kremlin admits that the public distrusts the people who are supposed to protect them.

    “The support they got shows society has lost trust in the police.”

  6. Documents Indicate Russian Role In Litvinenko Poisoning

    British police are investigating allegations that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) received a container of radioactive polonium less than three months before a dose of the same substance killed former KGB officer Aleksandr Litvinenko in London in 2006.

    London’s “Sunday Times” newspaper reports that documents acquired from an unnamed source by Litvinenko’s widow, Marina, appear to show the FSB obtained polonium from a Russian nuclear power station in 2006. If real, the evidence would be the strongest to date that Russian special forces were behind the murder of Litvinenko, a former intelligence agent turned staunch Kremlin critic who died four years ago.

    • @The Georgian delegation was joined by several Armenian delegates. French delegates were also at the hotel. They called the police because of noise at the hotel.

      The French don’t know how to party in Portugal.

      Maybe they need some viagra.

  7. When the doors of the carriage opened, I stepped on to the platform and saw Grozny. Or rather, I didn’t see Grozny. I’d been forewarned as my relatives who’d remained in the Chechen Republic had told me what had happened to the city. On TV I had seen the reports of the military operations and the aftermath of the bombing, but deep down I hadn’t believed them. I was still hoping to see Grozny as I had left it a few years earlier, when heading north from that same platform. You know, I even thought I’d find the city green with its leafy parks and avenues, because I had left my homeland when it had been summer. Well, I was coming home now, returning to childhood, and returning to summer.

    I used to live and go to school in Shali, a village some 30km from Grozny. I didn’t go into Grozny that often. Every Sunday I’d go with my parents to the market, but that wasn’t the whole of Grozny. Sometimes the school bus would take us there to visit the circus. But the real trips were in the summer, in the holidays, when we would stroll about the city, go to the cinema and the fairground attractions and eat ice cream in the cafés. And that was how I remembered Grozny – green and white. It was green with plane trees and poplars, with lilac and roses. And it was white from the walls of the multistorey buildings which to me, a boy from the countryside, seemed like palaces. It was white from the sun which was everywhere, flooding the avenues and squares.

    And so, standing on the platform, I screwed up my eyes and then opened them again. I thought something was wrong with my vision. I thought someone had played with the colour setting. Everything was black.

  8. Russian secret squad killed Red Cross staff in Chechnya

    Roger Boyes

    A Russian secret service unit was responsible for the murder of six Western nurses in a Chechen hospital, a defecting agent of the Federal Security Service has told The Times at a secret rendezvous in Germany.

    The killing of the medical workers — a Spaniard, two Norwegians, a Canadian, a New Zealander and a Dutchman — ranks as one of the worst disasters in the 150-year history of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Although it took place 14 years ago, in December 1996, the crime has still not been solved and the general assumption has always been that it was the work of bloodthirsty Chechen insurgents.

    According to Major Aleksi Potyomkin, however, the Westerners were the victims of a Federal Security Service (FSB) special forces “search-and-destroy” unit that was breaking the terms of a newly negotiated truce ending the two-year war between Russia and the separatist region. Masked and heavily armed, they had engaged in a firefight with a group of Chechens before being ordered to enter the Red Cross hospital set up in an old school compound in Novye Atagi, south of Grozny.

    How does Major Potyomkin know? Because he was there; a lieutenant at the time, in charge of protecting the rear of the column as it stalked through the snow. Now he is in hiding, with his wife and three small children, in a small town in Germany, trying to arrange his defection to one of two Western intelligence services.

    The truth about the Novye Atagi killings is just one of the intelligence gifts that he has brought with him, backed up by a stolen FSB transcript of the radio traffic on that night. It is plainly intended as merely a taster: for the past seven years, Major Potyomkin has been part of a Russian undercover operation in Western Europe.

    For him, and for the FSB — the successor to the Soviet KGB — the attack on the hospital was a blunder, a case of mistaken identity. Small beer in a dirty war.

    “There was no inquiry about the operation, of course not,” said Major Potyomkin. “Why should the generals worry about a few dead foreigners when we had taken thousands upon thousands of casualties?”

    A big man with a blond wisp of a beard, Major Potyomkin paused, perhaps to consider whether his words sounded callous to a foreigner. “Ultimately it was too expensive to punish us. They had invested a lot in our training, so everything was just buried.”

    It could, however, be expensive now. If further investigation shows that this was a Russian atrocity, the families of the dead nurses would be within their rights to take legal action against Moscow.

    Certainly, the relatives have been desperate for closure. The mystery surrounding the attack has dogged the Geneva-based Red Cross for years.

    • Russian major confesses to 1996 murder of 6 Red Cross workers in Chechnya–russian-major-confesses-to-1996-murder-of-6-red-cross-workers-in-chechnya

      The revelations are sure to reopen old wounds.

      From Geneva, an ICRC statement said it would hold a dialogue with the Russians, adding that “these terrible events continue to cause immense pain to the families of the bereaved and their colleagues.” Meanwhile, reaction from Chechen and Russian sources ranged from skepticism to disbelief.

      “This statement is not unexpected,” exiled former Chechen foreign minister Akhmed Zakayev told Moscow’s Radio Liberty. “Almost immediately after this horrible crime our police had resolved it.” He said it was a special operation to “liquidate” something Russian forces had left behind when they pulled out, with the help of a Chechen who sided with Russia.

      A witness interviewed by the Star shortly after the murders contradicted Potyomkin’s contention that the murder was accidental, or carried out by a Russian unit. He said the 15 men were masked and armed, but spoke in “gangsterish” Chechen. And that they went directly to the staff’s sleeping rooms, shot them and escaped in cars waiting outside.

      Suspicion first fell on Jordanian-born local warlord Khattab, who had warned the Red Cross to remove its “Christian” flag from the building, but later resolved the dispute. Some suspected that Russia, reeling from the disastrous loss of Chechnya, may have planned the operation to discredit the Chechen government and end Western aid efforts.

      In Moscow Thursday, Alexander Cherkasov of the Russian human rights organization Memorial said “there were no reports about any military actions” at the time when the murders took place. And he told Radio Liberty, “It is almost impossible to conduct a proper investigation in the conditions of post-war Chechnya.”

    • How the Chechnyan Red Cross murders affected central Africa

      The story is horrible in every way. The nurses, who came from Spain, Norway, Canada, New Zealand and Holland, ran a medical centre south of Grozny. It was shortly after a truce had been declared. The hospital guards, in line with ICRC policy, weren’t armed and the nurses were murdered in their beds.

      The FSB, Potyomkin told the Times, had seen Chechen insurgents enter the compound and went in after them. He says the killing of the nurses was a mistake and recalls the leader of the unit radioing back to say there had been a mistake: “No beardies – only foreigners.” But, he admits, this may have been a ploy from on high. The FSB had a policy to leave no witnesses.

      All this seems long ago and far away; more deaths in a horror story containing endless, nausea-inducing atrocities. The massacre led to the ICRC pulling out of Chechnya and most of the other aid agencies following its lead. “It has had a lasting impact,” a spokesman said. That would be tragic enough for the region.

      Yet this massacre’s effect was felt not just in Chechnya. I remember it well, even though I was half a world away.

  9. Tonight in Nazran unidentified criminal opened automatic fire on the car of Khusen Shadiev, editor-in-chief of the nationwide newspaper Ingushetia “Serdalo”. As a result of the attack, Shadiev was wounded and hospitalized to the Republic’s Clinical Hospital in Nazran.

    Nadira Isayeva, Russia
    2010 CPJ International Press Freedom Awardee

    Isayeva, 31, has incurred the wrath of security services in Russia’s volatile North Caucasus for her relentless reporting on their handling of violence and militant Islam in the region. As editor-in-chief of the independent weekly Chernovik (Rough Draft) in the southern republic of Dagestan, she has criticized as counter-productive the heavy-handed tactics of state agencies charged with fighting terrorism. In 2008, authorities brought a criminal case against her under anti-extremist legislation after she published an interview with a former guerrilla leader, who accused local authorities of corruption and of being in thrall to the Kremlin. Isayeva sees the case as retaliation for Chernovik’s work. If convicted, she faces up to eight years in prison. She and the newspaper are regularly harassed with official summonses, financial audits, and state-commissioned “linguistic analyses” that label content as extremist. Investigators have searched Isayeva’s home, seizing a computer, books, and files. A local prosecutor has sent her notice that she must undergo a psychological examination. Since June 2009, the main state media regulator has been trying to close the paper for “hostile attitudes toward law enforcement officers and other extremist statements.”

  10. Bomb explosion damages rail near Russia’s Olympic city Sochi

    “We must frankly admit that it (situation) has practically not improved,” Medvedev told the Kremlin’s envoy to the North Caucasus, Alexander Khloponin, as well as a slew of officers from the police and the Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor to the KGB.

    Medvedev named the region — a patchwork of mostly Muslim republics along the country’s southern fringe — Russia’s biggest domestic problem last year.


    Russia’s National Anti-Terror Committee, part of the FSB, said last month that attacks in Chechnya and Ingushetia were down by nearly a half.

    Medvedev blamed the police for twisting statistics on the number of attacks in the region, calling them “utter rubbish”.

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