December 3, 2010 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  Remembering the Mayak Atrocity

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Another “F” for Russian Schools

(3)  Russian Imperialism in Ukraine

(4)  Khodorkovsky exposes Russian Barbarism

(5)  Russian hair is the Best in the World!

NOTE:  Maybe one of our more Photoshop-inclined readers can insert Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev into the following, suitable for framing?

Putinman and Medvedobin?

42 responses to “December 3, 2010 — Contents

  1. Inputs shortage menaces Russian spring grains

    MOSCOW, Nov. 26 (Reuters) –

    A shortage of fertiliser and equipment could defeat Russian government plans to increase the area sown with spring crops in 2011, Russian Grain Union lobby group president Arkady Zlochevsky said on Friday.

    “We should understand that it is technically impossible to ship the surplus from the south until the end of the season,” he said. “Physically, 5 or even 6 million tonnes of southern grain will not be shipped out.”

    He added that another obstacle to grain shipments were outbreaks of highly contagious African Swine Fever disease in southern Russia. Equipment to disinfect grain there was scarce.

    “This means that the regions hit by the drought will soon eat their grain up,” he said. “The situation is such that even the government intervention stocks, despite being huge, may prove to be insufficient to cover the acute demand.”


    He said imports were not feasible at present due to high international prices and demand would decline as farmers — unwilling to pay high prices for feed grain — had started mass slaughter of domestic animals.

    Read more:

  2. Potyomkin told The Times that “there was no inquiry about the operation, of course not . . . Why should the (Russian) generals worry about a few dead foreigners when we had taken thousands upon thousands of casualties?”

    He added: “Ultimately it was too expensive to punish us. They had invested a lot in our training, so everything was just buried.”

    Potyomkin also claimed to have stolen a transcript of the radio communication among Russian agents on the night of the massacre that appears to reveal what happened.

    A Red Cross spokesman in Washington told Postmedia News Wednesday that he couldn’t comment directly on the Russian officer’s claims, but said officials were aware of the report and that a statement would be issued Thursday from the agency’s Geneva headquarters.

    He added that Red Cross representatives have been following the investigation of the 1996 massacre closely over the years and the desire to “get some resolution” about what happened at the Chechen hospital is felt strongly throughout the organization.

    • A photo of the guy (most articles about don’t have it):

      How The Chechnyan Red Cross Murders Affected Central Africa

      I returned to Shabunda a few years ago. What I found was the story of a massacre. Shabunda’s residents told me of refugees being herded into the river to drown, being shot and macheted. I was led to a mass grave. I followed the road out of town and at each village was led to sites of further killing. In time the residents themselves were caught up in a civil war caused by the invasion, with huge numbers of the women being raped time and again, which I reported in The Guardian in 2007.

      Whether the IRCR could have done more with more time, I don’t know. But the suspicion has to be that they could have. They were doing important work in hard circumstances, protected by the thin but strong veil of safety provided by their name. If Major Potyomkin is telling the truth, then it was Russian soldiers who, in slicing through that veil, weighed the balance

    • “What happened at the time was a huge trauma for us – and definitely much more for the families,” Red Cross spokeswoman Iolanda Jaquemet, speaking from the agency’s global headquarters in Geneva, told Postmedia News on Friday. “In view of the new allegations in the Times, we are contacting Russian authorities.”

      Jaquemet said the Red Cross inquiries were being made “within the framework of our regular confidential dialogue” with Moscow and that there would be no further comment on the investigation for now.

      “We have never relented in our efforts to find out what happened that night,” she added. “We never gave up – though without success.”

  3. Putin is foaming at the mouth. He has the audacity to use the word uncivilized?

    Putin says EU energy laws are uncivilised ‘robbery’

    Yesterday at 17:19 | Reuters

    Read more:

  4. Russian journalist attacks state of television news

    One of Russia’s most respected journalists, Leonid Parfyonov, has launched a stinging attack on the state of television news in his country.

    He said that Russian TV correspondents were no longer journalists, but bureaucrats serving the state.

    Mr Parfyonov spoke after receiving a prestigious award in Moscow.

    Listening to his speech were some of the biggest names in Russian TV – including the controllers of the main channels.

    Mr Parfyonov said that what news bulletins on Russian TV were broadcasting today was not news – it was PR for the authorities.

    “The correspondent is… not a journalist but a bureaucrat, following the service and logic of obedience,” he said.

    He pointed to the absence of critical, sceptical or ironic commentary on TV about the prime minister or president.

    The views of a quarter of the Russian population that was critical of the authorities were, he said, simply ignored.

    ‘Perennial technique’
    Mr Parfyonov said TV news bulletins had become reminiscent of Soviet times – when instead of proper news reports, there was footage of the country’s leaders meeting ministers, governors and foreign leaders.

    “Behind every politically important TV broadcast, one can see the goals and objectives being pursued by the authorities, their moods and attitudes, their friends and enemies.

    “It is a perennial technique known to anyone who experienced central television in the USSR,” he said.

    Mr Parfyonov also spoke about the newspaper journalist Oleg Kashin, the investigative reporter who was attacked recently in Moscow.

    There was no TV journalist in Russia, Mr Parfynov said, on a par with Mr Kashin.

    He concluded that most Russians today didn’t see the need for journalism.

    “Those who say so what, a journalist’s been beaten up, it happens all the time,” he said, “don’t understand that when a journalist takes risks in his professional work, it’s for the sake of his audience.”

  5. Unconventional natural gas (shale gas) which is located everywhere is starting to impact the Russians. Poland has large reserves. In the USA natural gas is now priced so low that oil must drop below $30 a barrel to be competitive. Ta TA Putin.

    • And yet oil prices have been going up, up, up. Must be nice, to know something the rest of the world doesn’t. I bet you’re selling futures like crazy. You’s gonna be rich, Ron. You’s gonna be rich as hell.

  6. Russia’s Islamist rebels mull new ‘state’ language

    Today at 15:57 | Reuters

    Militants waging an Islamist insurgency in Russia’s mainly Muslim North Caucasus region have proposed using either Arabic or a Turkic language as a lingua franca for their affairs.

    Read more:

  7. Energy prices are are up on anticipation of a cold winter and and feckless American leadership. The latter condition will be corrected before long and energy price will start a lengthy, years long period of decline.

    Notice from above post [Les] that Putin is in a rage because Chancellor Merkel is turning the screws on Gazprom with low natural natural gas prices. New, massive gas availability must drive energy prices down over time.

  8. WikiLeaks ‘to highlight Putin and Berlusconi’s special relationship’

    Mr Berlusconi has been friends with former KGB agent Mr Putin, for more than five years and the two have held numerous bilateral meetings as well as entertained each other on holiday.

    Of concern to Washington was said to be the deal between Italian energy firm ENI and Russian gas giant Gazprom, over the South Stream pipeline as well as the “very cordial relationship between Mr Putin and Mr Berlusconi”.

    On Sunday America’s former ambassador to Italy Ronald Spogli, who was in Rome between 2005 and 2009, said in an interview with Corriere della Sera: “The Rome-Moscow axis did worry us.”

    Mr Spogli did not go into specific details but did add: “Certainly, we have always said that a democratic Russia was always desirable.

    “In the last few years when there was a differing shift by Russia, we Americans always thought this (Putin-Berlusconi relationship) was not the right direction.”

    Italian newspapers highlighted how Mr Berlusconi had holidayed on the Black Sea with Mr Putin and in return the Russian leader had been a guest at his counterpart’s luxury villa in Sardinia.

    They published once again an infamous picture of Mr Berlusconi pretending to ‘shoot’ a Russian journalist as she asked awkward questions of Mr Putin at a press conference in Italy two years ago.

    Also mentioned was Mr Berlusconi’s “soft stance” towards Russia during the recent conflicts in Chechnya and Georgia.

    Mr Spogli’s comments were published as Mr Berlusconi’s government insisted there was a “plot” by foreign powers to damage Italy’s international reputation highlighting intense coverage of recent domestic events, as well as the release of WikiLeaks files.

    Among these were the ongoing rubbish crisis in Naples and the poor maintenance of the Roman ruins of Pompeii which had led to the collapse of the House of the Gladiators earlier this month.

    The plot theory had first been raised by Italy’s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini who briefed Mr Berlusconi and the government on the documents expected to be leaked telling them that there was “nothing exceptional”.

    On Sunday Mr Frattini said:”We will not be commenting on any of these documents as their publication is a crime. We are also looking at a possible criminal investigation against (the founder of WikiLeaks Julian) Assanage.

    “I am worried that a combination of different factors, all put together could damage our national interests and the reputation of Italy,” he said without saying who was behind the attempt.

    Mr Berlusconi’s government has been in crisis for a month after a series of sleaze scandals. Next month a crucial confidence vote will be held and if he loses Mr Berlusconi is expected to call a general election in the Spring and the suggestion of a ‘plot’ was seized upon by the opposition as a sign of him losing control.

  9. European Parliament:

    Report on the DROI Delegation to Russia on 30 August – 3 September 2010

    Click to access 20101129_3_1beslan_en.pdf

    On arrival in Moscow the delegation met with leading representatives of NGOs and also held a further meeting with two of the 2009 Sakharov Prize Winners, Mr Oleg Orlov and Ms Lyudmila Alexeyeva. All confirmed the profoundly negative human rights situation in Russia Memorial on 16 December 2009. It was, however, pointed out that the Sakharov Prize is not widely known in Russia and the EU is seen as rather impotent. Scepticism was expressed about the results of the EU-Russian human rights consultations and it was argued that these issues had to be raised at the higher levels (summits) and linked to Russian interests. It was
    noted that the US can be more outspoken on these issues as US-Russia economic relations are far less important for Russia than EU-Russia relations. Reference was made to an interview on 30 August in Kommersant (reprinted in the Moscow Times on 31 August) with Prime Minister Putin, in which he spoke in a dismissive and threatening manner about the Article 31 demonstrators. The delegation got the impression that President Medvedev’s commitment to the rule of law was genuine but that Mr Putin held greater power in a society characterised by widespread corruption and limited space for democratic opposition.

    In Moscow the delegation visited the trial of the former heads of Yukos, Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. Hearings are closed and the verdict is expected on December 15. Sentencing might take place shortly after the verdict has been read out. Great concern remains over the verdicts and sentences. Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev have been arrested since 2003 and are charged with fraud and embezzlement. This is their second trial. The cases have been denounced as fabricated, fraudulent and unfair by the wider international community.


    The European Parliament resolution of 17 June 2010 on the conclusions of the EU/Russia summit called on “the Russian authorities to put an end to the ongoing and widespread impunity for violence against human rights defenders and, in particular, to make it their priority to end the climate of terror and lawlessness in the North Caucasus and to protect and guarantee the physical integrity of human rights defenders in accordance with relevant international and regional human rights instruments.”

    In June 2010 the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly adopted a report calling for legal remedies for human rights violations in the North Caucasus region in which the Assembly observed that the “situation in the North Caucasus region, particularly in the Chechen Republic, Ingushetia and Dagestan, constitutes today the most serious and most delicate situation from a standpoint of safeguarding human rights and upholding rule of law, in the entire geographical area covered by the Council of Europe.”

    What the delegation was able to observe confirmed this profoundly disturbing situation. The fact that Russian Duma members from the party of President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin voted for this report confirmed that it is a tragic undeniable reality.


    It was in this context that the delegation visited Beslan, meeting not only with two local NGOs representing the bereaved families but also with Professor Stanislav Kesaev, who had been chair of the North Ossetia “Parliamentary Investigation Commission into the Beslan Act of Terrorism”. He stated that citizen’s have the right to security and confidence in the future and whoever was responsible for the deaths, they represented a national tragedy. He considered that investigations were still ongoing and that this was a matter for Russia to settle as the ECHR in Strasbourg was already overloaded with cases originating in Russia. It appeared that Prof. Kesaev’s work covered the general context of the events rather than specific responsibilities. He denied that the Prosecutor’s Office had pressured him to end his investigations.

    In Beslan the delegation met the Voice of Beslan (led by Ella Kesayeva) and the Mothers of Beslan (led by Suzanna Dudaeva). Both organisations confirmed that their basic right to truth had been violated. Having expected little from Prof. Kesaev they were more disappointed with the indifference of the Federal Authorities: There were differences of emphasis between these NGOs, with some feeling that President Putin was personally responsible for the catastrophe. They all agreed, however, that they should have answers to still open questions such as:

    – Did Moscow intervene to prevent a local attempt to negotiate a peaceful outcome?
    – Were flame throwers used in the assault? If so, why? If not, why were so many bodies disfigured by burning?
    – Why did each victim not have a death certificate?
    – How did so many heavily armed terrorists get into the building unobserved?
    – Who assembled this disperate group, many of whom had been released from jail shortly before the events?

    The NGOs continue their efforts through the ECHR and profoundly appreciated the MEPs presence in Beslan on the anniversary. On this occasion President Medvedev did not issue any statement. The President of the European Parliament did issue a statement coinciding with the conclusions of the Commemorations at 13h05 on 3 September. He stated that:

    “On behalf of the European Parliament I would like to express my deep solidarity with the families of the victims of the school siege tragedy of Beslan of 1st September 2004. It has been six years since the tragic event in the Beslan school and it is of great concern for the European Parliament that violence still blights the North Caucasus region. Peace and security are the necessary conditions to fully respect human rights and the rule of law. I will write to the President of the Russian Federation asking him to ensure that the rights of the families of the victims of the tragedy are fully respected.”


    The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has, through an agreement with the Russian Federation, a substantial operation in the region. It is the case, however, that many thousands of IDPs live in very poor, insecure and unhealthy conditions, even where they have to pay for their absolutely rudimentary accommodation. The delegation visited various shelter projects and spoke with a number of families. On the afternoon of 2 September they also met at the offices of VESTA, with UNHCR officials and local NGOs assisting the IDPs as best they can. It was explained that the UNHCR is meant to work in support of national government actions but in Russia this is very difficult as there is a gap in Russian law which does not reflect the concept of an IDP. Whilst the UNHCR does feel supported by the local authorities it is the case that the Russian Federal authorities want to phase out this operation. All that the UNHCR can now do is to negotiate in Moscow, for a strategy of “responsible disengagement”. In view of UNHRC’s reliance on donors, the support from the EU was considered very important. The delegation got the impression in this insecure environment the UNHCR were doing as much as possible with a limited mandate and resources. A small number of refugees have been rehoused in rather satisfactory new housing which they have been able to buy. For most of the IDPs the outlook seemed extremely insecure.

  10. The Russian Reporter weekly, a WikiLeaks partner, published the U.S. correspondence on the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia.

    Russian Reporter is the only Russian magazine, which, along with U.S. and German media, receives materials from whistleblower website WikiLeaks in advance to prepare publications and analysis.

    On August 7, a day before the war officially began, John F. Tefft, then U.S. ambassador in Tbilisi, blames South Ossetia for beginning the hostilities, saying that “a full-scale South Ossetian attack against a Georgian village” took place.

    He later reported that “Georgian forces along with GRAD artillery are on the move, either as part of a show of force or readiness, or both.”

    “From evidence available to us it appears the South Ossetians started today’s fighting. The Georgians are now reacting by calling up more forces and assessing their next move,” the report reads.

    Later, the ambassador reported that “embassy observers on the highway noted approximately 30 yellow city buses, the usual mode of transport for moving Ministry of Interior forces, carrying uniformed men heading north from Tbilisi.”

    On August 8, Tefft says that “fighting in South Ossetia had continued throughout the night of August 7, resuming four hours after [Georgian] President [Mikheil] Saakashvili unilaterally declared a cease-fire.”

    At the time, Russia blamed Georgia for provoking the war by launching an unprovoked attack on South Ossetia, whilst Georgia blamed South Ossetia for starting the firing.

    “[Polish Foreign Minister] Radoslaw Sikorski had to overcome significant opposition within the EU even to schedule a foreign minister level meeting on Georgia August 13,” the dossier says. “A number of EU member states believed Georgian President Saakashvili was responsible for the conflict.”

    Another leaked report quotes Poland’s late Gen. Franciszek Gagor, then Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces, as saying that “Saaskashvili made an extremely bad decision to move into South Ossetia and played directly into Russia’s hands.”

    It says Saakashvili was “manipulated by Russian agents, possibly even among his advisors,” who were seeking to disrupt pipelines in Georgia and derail the country’s NATO aspirations.

  11. On November 19, following a meeting of the Georgian parliament’s committees on foreign affairs and compatriots living abroad, the parliament’s press office said that “the legislators considered that it was necessary to convince the international Olympic Committee, National Olympic Committees and the international community in the necessity of holding 2014 Winter Olympiad in a different country.” On November 25, Georgia’s Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration, Giorgi Baramidze, stated at a press conference in Prague: “I personally express solidarity with the members of parliament, because I understand their sentiments, I understand why they think that Russia does not deserve to be the host of the Olympic Games –because the Olympic movement is something different that Russia demonstrates today” (, November 26).

    Circassian activists argue that the Russian state’s actions in their ancestral homeland in the northwestern Caucasus in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries met the definition of genocide. Therefore, they are demanding that Russia recognize the Circassian “genocide” and cancel the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The location of the Sochi Olympics are on the site where the Russian army inflicted a final defeat on the Circassian forces in 1864, which resulted in the mass deportation of the Circassians from their homeland to the Ottoman Empire.

    An estimated 90 percent of the Circassians –6 million-7 million people– currently live outside of their homeland in the North Caucasus, where the remaining Circassians are scattered across four regions: Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachaevo-Cherkessia, Adygea and the Krasnodar region. The Circassians are a clear majority of the population only in Kabardino-Balkaria. Since the murder of civilians, mass deportations and other violent acts were vividly described by Russian army officers and generals themselves, and the modern Russian state assumes it is legally derived from the historical Russian empire, the Circassian activists say, contemporary Russia should also bear responsibility for its past actions (, November 23).

    The Georgian side has its own score to settle with Russia. Following the Russian-Georgian war in 2008, Russia recognized the Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia as an independent state, to the detriment of Tbilisi, and Abkhazia borders the Russian region of Sochi. On November 25, the parliament of Georgia set up a temporary commission on issues related to the Sochi Olympics. According to official Georgian statements, the aim of the commission is not to prevent the Olympics from taking place, but rather to urge Russia to comply with the rules of the Olympic Charter (, November 25).

    Russian media tried to diminish the significance of the conference in Tbilisi. The newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported (in a short article on page 6) that the conference was less representative than the first one, which took place in March 2010, and that this time, only one Circassian from the North Caucasus attended the event (, November 23). In fact, representatives from more countries were present at the second conference, than the first. Furthermore, the conference attracted renowned participants such as Lord Frank Judd, French philosopher Andre Glucksmann, political scientist Raj Menon and a number of other prominent experts and specialist took part in the latest symposium as well, including Chechen human rights activist Lidia Yusupova who came from Chechnya to participate in the conference using the new visa free travel regime.

    The conference undoubtedly had reverberations in the North Caucasus. As Murat Gukemukhov, a Circassian analyst with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Ekho Kavkaza, put it, he had never encountered a Circassian in the North Caucasus who had even a slightest doubt over the “genocide” the Circassians were subjected to during the Russian-Caucasian war of the nineteenth century. The only difference between Circassians of various walks of life is how to treat this fact and how to overcome it. According to Gukemukhov, the majority of the Circassians in the North Caucasus welcome the attention the issue of the Circassian “genocide” is given as well as being against the Winter Olympics in Sochi (, November 21).

    Meanwhile, the situation in the North West Caucasus is increasingly showing signs of deepening destabilization. According to an official statement by the Russian interior ministry’s subdivision in the North Caucasus, Kabardino-Balkaria and Dagestan emerged as the two most volatile territories in the region in 2010. The number of attacks in Kabardino-Balkaria increased from 21 in 2009 to 117 for the first 10 months of 2010 (, November 24). On November 22, a bomb detonated on the railway connecting Sochi and Matsesta in what the authorities officially recognized as a terrorist attack. In an interview with Ekho Kavkaza, Dagestani expert Suleiman Suleimanov dismissed the idea that by creating the North Caucasus Federal District and separating it from the Southern Federal District, where Sochi is located, Moscow could insulate the future Olympic sites from the mounting instability in the North Caucasus. “Sochi is still closer to Makhachkala and Nalchik than to Moscow or
    St. Petersburg, so it is no wonder that the Black Sea coast might share the fate of all of the [North] Caucasus,” Suleimanov said (, November 22).

    The 2014 Sochi Olympics and the question surrounding the Circassian “genocide” are likely to become one of the dominant issues pertaining to the situation in the North Caucasus in the next several years. These topics encapsulate the lack of recognition of Russia’s past offenses in the North Caucasus and their continual recreation in the present. Thus, the issue of the Circassian “genocide” has inherently far greater significance than the Circassian people, touching upon the foundations of Moscow’ policies toward the North Caucasus and the Russian state in general.

  12. russia world cup?

  13. Update: Leaked cable calls Russia virtual mafia state

    MOSCOW (AP) — Leaked U.S. diplomatic cables portray Russia as a virtual “mafia state” where criminals work closely with the country’s powerful security agencies, men enter the Kremlin lugging suitcases purportedly stuffed with cash and governors collect bribes as methodically as taxes.

    Read more:

  14. ‘Mafia state’ leader Putin knew of poison plot that killed former KGB spy in London: Latest WikiLeaks revelations

    * U.S. assistant secretary claimed he would have been informed of Litvinenko assassination in 2006
    * Spain’s top prosecutor Jose Grinda Gonzalez says activities of government and organised crime are indistinguishable

    • Sarkozy grabbed Russian Minister by lapels at ‘confrontational’ meeting in Moscow

      By Katherine Faulkner

      President Sarkozy physically attacked the Russian Foreign Minister during a furious argument over the occupation of Georgia, according to a leaked diplomatic cable.

      The diminutive French leader is said to have grabbed Sergei Lavrov by his jacket lapels before screaming at him and calling him a liar during a ‘confrontational’ meeting in Moscow.

      President Medvedev of Russia was present at the meeting, which was described by the French diplomat Philippe Lefort as ‘openly hostile.’

      Mr Sarkozy was trying to persuade Mr Medvedev to withdraw Russian troops after the war over South Ossetia two years ago.

      ‘Sarkozy at one point grabbed FM Lavrov by the lapels and called him a liar in very strong terms, reacting to Lavrov’s denial that Russia had failed to comply with its previous withdrawal commitments,’ John Beyrle, the US Ambassador is Moscow, wrote.

  15. Robert wrote: “The 2014 Sochi Olympics and the question surrounding the Circassian “genocide” are likely to become one of the dominant issues pertaining to the situation in the North Caucasus in the next several years.

    Absolutely! We should expect thousands of russophobes to protest the 2014 Sochi Olympics for at least 20 more years. And the 2018 Russia World Cup will be protested for at least 50 years to come. And so will the 2024 St. Petersburg Summer Olympics (I hope).

    I really look forward to seeing all these sick russophobe show their desperation. Let the fun begin!


    Will it be “fun” for you when the first terrorist bomb explodes in Sochi, and the first thousand or so people are brutally murdered before the eyes of the world?

    Who’s the “sick” one, ape?

    • Unfortunately, “thousands of” “all these sick germanophobe(s)” did not prevent the 1936 Olympics to take place in Berlin.

      And it’s still a shame.

      • Robert,

        As a Jew, I find it disgusting to see you imply that the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis was no worse than modern Russia’s policies.

        • “As a Jew” (probably as “Jewish” as SS Oberwachmeister Bruno Israel ) you should find it disgusting your lack of knowledge about the Holocaust, in particular your assumption it has already began by the time of Berlin Olympics.

          And that’s unlike Russia, which has completed the genocide of Circassians (more than 90% of this ethnic group was either murdered or forcibly deported to Turkey, possibly resulting in deaths of more than one million people) right there at “Krasnaya” (and it’s “red” because of all the blood that was shed there) already long time ago.

          Which would be quite like if Germany organized an olympics at Dachau (not near, which they actually did, at Munich), while at the same time denying anything bad ever happened there, AND still discriminating against and commiting crimes against members of the Jewish nation (including “disappearance”, torture, murder), as well as other minority ethnic groups (including crimes against humanity, and invading the occupying a neighbouring country, which coincidentally is even very nearby from the site too.

          • Robert,

            What are you talking about? The Olympics have been held in USA many times, despite the fact that all of the US territory used to belong to Native Americans, the vast majority of whom have been exterminated. Take, for example, the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley. The only Squaw remaining near Lake Tahoe s is the name. The rest have been exterminated, along with their men.

            You can start your reading here:

            California and the Indian Wars
            Contemporary Accounts of Massacres of Native Americans
            California State Military Department
            The California State Military Museum
            Preserving California’s Military Heritage


            ANTHRO 6 – An Introduction to California’s Native People

            The first 50 years of the American Period was a horrible time for the Native Californians, given the sheer magnitude of what happened during that half century: scalpings of men, women, &children; incarceration in jails with the only way out being enforced indenture to whites for unspecified lengths of time; the kidnapping &sale of Indian children; the massacres of entire Indian villages; the military roundup of Indians and their enforced exile on military reservations where even the most basic of living amenities were lacking; their complete legal disenfranchisement. The outcome of all this was that during the first two decades of the American occupation, the native population of California plummeted by 90 percent – in short, a California version of the WWII Holocaust.

            • Dude, it’s all officially acknowledged long time ago (unlike the situation in Sochi now, in 2010).

              And no, they were not “exterminated”. Quite on contrary – there are now many more of them in California than EVER. And not only more than in any other state, but actually even some 1/6 of all Indians in the whole United States live in California! (Well over 300,000 of them.)

              And no, people are no longer being murdered, tortured, “disappeared” with impunity by state agents or private individuals in California today (unlike in North Caucasus). Instead, they were given rights to the so-called “Indian casinos” that are making them billions of dollars every year.

              This is “what I am talking about”. “In short,” try harder.

            • There were exactly 333,511 members of the federally recognised tribes in California in 2000.

              But in Krasnodar Krai (Sochi), the Circassians are simply gone.


        • Well, Russia does have genocidal intent against the Chechens, Georgians, and Ingush….

  16. US embassy cables: Chechnya, the once and future war

    11. (C) After Khasbulatov and Rutskoy were written out of the Russian equation in October 1993, so was Dudayev. Clandestine Russian support for the Chechen political and military opposition to Dudayev began in the spring of 1994, according to participants. When that proved ineffective, Russian bombing was deployed. (One Dudayev opponent recounted that in 1994 a Russian pilot was given a mission to fire a missile into one of the top-floor corners of Groznyy’s Presidency building at a time when Dudayev was scheduled to hold a cabinet meeting there. Not knowing Groznyy, the pilot asked which building to bomb, and was told “the tallest one.” He bombed a residential apartment building.) When air power, too, proved ineffective, Russian troops were secretly sent in to reinforce the armed opposition. Dudayev’s forces captured about a dozen and put them on television — and the Russian invasion began shortly thereafter.

    12. (C) Given the gangsterish background of the war, it is no surprise that the military conducted the war itself as a profit-making enterprise, especially after the capture of

    MOSCOW 00005645 003 OF 010

    Groznyy. By May 1995 an anti-Dudayev Chechen could lament, “When we invited the Russian army in we expected an army — not this band of marauders.” Contraband trade in oil, weapons (including direct sales from Russian military stores to the insurgents), drugs, and liquor, plus “protection” for legitimate trade made military service in Chechnya lucrative for those not on the front lines. This profitability ended only with the August 1996 defeat of Russian forces in Groznyy at the hands of the insurgents and the subsequent Russian withdrawal — a defeat made possible because the Russian forces were hollowed out by their officers’ corruption and pursuit of economic profit.

    13. (C) Before they lost this “cash-cow” to their enemies, Russian officers went to great lengths to keep their friends from interfering with their profits. On July 30, 1995, the Russians and the Chechen insurgents signed a cease-fire agreement mediated by the OSCE. It would have meant the gradual withdrawal of Russian forces. Enforcing the cease-fire was a Joint Observation Commission (“SNK”). The head of the SNK was General Anatoliy Romanov, a competent and upright officer — very much a rarity in Chechnya. After two months at this assignment he was severely injured by a mine inside Groznyy, and has been hospitalized ever since. Informed observers believe Romanov’s own colleagues in the Russian forces carried out this murder attempt. The cease-fire, never enforced, broke down.

    • (This cable was written in 2006, turns out it was prophetic.)

      What Can We Expect in the Future?


      37. (C) The Chechen population is the great loser in this game. It bears an ever heavier burden in shake-downs, opportunity costs from misappropriation of reconstruction funds, and the constant trauma of victimization and abuse — including abduction, torture, and murder — by the armed thugs who run Chechnya (reftels). Security under those circumstances is a fragile veneer, and stability an illusion. The insurgency can continue indefinitely, at a low level and without prospects of success, but significant enough to serve as a pretext for the continued rule of thuggery.

      38. (C) The insurgency will remain split between those who want to carry on Maskhadov’s non-Salafist struggle for national independence and those who follow the Salafi-influenced Basayev in his pursuit of a Caucasus-wide Caliphate. But the nationalists have been undercut by Kadyrov. Despite Sadullayev’s efforts, the insurgency inside Chechnya is not likely to meet with success and will continue to become more Salafist in tone.

      39. (C) Prospects would be poor for the nationalists even if Kadyrov and/or Yamadayev were assassinated (and there is much speculation that one will succeed in killing the other, goaded on by the FSB which supports Kadyrov and the GRU which supports Yamadayev). The thousands of guerrillas who have joined those two militias have by now lost all ideological incentive. Since they already run the country, they feel themselves, not the Russians, to be the masters, and are not responsive to Sadullayev’s nationalist calls; Basayev’s Salafist message has even less appeal to them. Even if their current leaders are eliminated, all they will need is a new warlord, easily generated from within their organizations, and they can continue on their current paths.

      40. (C) We expect that Salafism will continue to grow. The insurgents even inside Chechnya are reportedly becoming predominantly Salafist, as opposition on a narrowly nationalist basis offers less hope of success. Salafis will come both from inside Chechnya, where militia excesses outrage the population, and from elsewhere in the Caucasus, where radicalization is proceeding rapidly as a result of the repressive policies of Russia’s regional satraps. There are numerous eyewitness accounts from both Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria that elite young adults and university students are joining Salafist groups. In one case, a terrorist killed in Dagestan was found recently to have defended his doctoral dissertation at Moscow State University — on Wahhabism in the North Caucasus. These young adults, denied economic opportunities, turn to religion as an outlet. They find, however, that representatives of the traditional religious establishments in these republics, long isolated under the thumb of Soviet restrictions, are ill-educated and ill-prepared to deal with the sophisticated theological arguments developed by generations of Salafists in the Middle East. Most of those who join fundamentalist jamaats do not, of course, become terrorists. But a percentage do, and with that steady source of recruits the major battlefield could shift to outside Chechnya, with armed clashes in other parts of the North Caucasus and a continuation of sporadic but spectacular terrorist acts in Moscow and other parts of Russia.

      41. (C) Outside Chechnya, the most likely venue for clashes with authorities is Dagestan. Putin’s imposition of a “power vertical” there has upset the delicate clan and ethnic balance that offered a shaky stability since the collapse of Soviet power. He installed a president (the weak Mukhu Aliyev) in place of a 14-member multi-ethnic presidential council. Aliyev will be unable to prevent a ruthless struggle among the elite — the local way of elaborating a new balance of power. This is already happening, with assassinations of provincial chiefs since Aliyev took over.

      MOSCOW 00005645 008 OF 010

      In one province in the south of the republic, an uprising against the chief appointed by Aliyev’s predecessor was suppressed by gunfire. Four demonstrators were shot dead, initiating a cycle of blood revenge. In May, in two Dagestani cities security force operations against “terrorists” resulted in major shootouts, with victims among the bystanders and whole apartment houses rendered uninhabitable after hits from the security forces’ heavy weaponry. It is not clear whether the “terrorists” were really religious activists (“Whenever they want to eliminate someone, they call him a Wahhabi,” the MP from Makhachkala told us). But the populace, seeing the deadly over-reaction of the security forces, is feeling sympathy for their victims — so much so that Aliyev has had to make public condemnations of the actions of the security forces. If this chaos deepens, as appears likely, the Jihadist groups (“jamaats”) may grow, drift further in Basayev’s direction, and feel the need to respond to attacks from the local government.

      42. (C) Local forces are unreliable in such cases, for clan and blood-feud reasons. Wahhabist jamaats flourished in the strategic ethnically Dargin districts of Karamakhi and Chabanmakhi in the mid-1990s, but Dagestan’s rulers left them alone because moving against them meant altering the delicate ethnic balance between Dargins and Avars. Only when the jamaats themselves became expansive during the Basayev/Khattab invasion from Chechnya in the summer of 1999 did the Makhachkala authorities take action, and then only with the assistance of Federal forces. Ultimately, if clashes break out on a wide scale in Dagestan, Moscow would have to send in the Federal army. Deploying the army to combat destabilization in Dagestan, however, could jeopardize Putin’s hard-won control over it. Unleashing the army against a “terrorist” threat is just that: allowing the army off its new leash. Large-scale army deployments to Dagestan would be especially attractive to the officers, since the border with Azerbaijan offers lucrative opportunities for contraband trade. The army’s presence, in turn, would further destabilize Dagestan and all but guarantee chaos.




      58. (C) The situation in the North Caucasus is trending towards destabilization, despite the increase in security inside Chechnya. The steps we believe Putin must take are those needed to reverse that trend, and the efforts we have outlined for ourselves are premised on a desire to promote a lasting stabilization built on improved governance, a more active civil society, and steps towards democratization. But we must be realistic about Russia’s willingness and ability to take the necessary steps, with or without our assistance. Real stabilization remains a low probability. Sound policy on Chechnya is likely to continue to founder in the swamp of corruption, Kremlin infighting and succession politics. Much more probable is a new phase of instability that will be felt throughout the North Caucasus and have effects beyond.

  17. US embassy cables: A wedding feast, the Caucasus way

    16. (C) The next day’s reception at the Marrakech was Gadzhi’s tribute to Aida’s family, after which we all returned to a dinner at Gadzhi’s summer home. Most of the tables were set with the usual dishes plus whole roast sturgeons and sheep. But at 8:00 p.m. the compound was invaded by dozens of heavily armed mujahedin for the grand entrance of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, looking shorter and less muscular than in his photos, and with a somewhat cock-eyed expression on his face. After greetings from Gadzhi, Ramzan and about 20 of his retinue sat around the tables eating and listening to Benya the Accordion King. Gadzhi then announced a fireworks display in honor of the birthday of Ramzan’s late father, Ahmat-Hadji Kadyrov. The fireworks started with a bang that made both Gadzhi and Ramzan flinch. Gadzhi had from the beginning requested that none of his guests, most of whom carried sidearms, fire their weapons in celebration. Throughout the wedding they complied, not even joining in the magnificent fireworks display.

    17. (C) After the fireworks, the musicians struck up the lezginka in the courtyard and a group of two girls and three boys — one no more than six years old — performed gymnastic versions of the dance. First Gadzhi joined them and then Ramzan, who danced clumsily with his gold-plated automatic stuck down in the back of his jeans (a houseguest later pointed out that the gold housing eliminated any practical use of the gun, but smirked that Ramzan probably couldn’t fire it anyway). Both Gadzhi and Ramzan showered the dancing children with hundred dollar bills; the dancers probably picked upwards of USD 5000 off the cobblestones. Gadzhi told us later that Ramzan had brought the happy couple “a five kilo lump of gold” as his wedding present. After the dancing and a quick tour of the premises, Ramzan and his army drove off back to Chechnya. We asked why Ramzan did not spend the night in Makhachkala, and were told, “Ramzan never spends the night anywhere.”

    18. (C) After Ramzan sped off, the dinner and drinking — especially the latter — continued. An Avar FSB colonel sitting next to us, dead drunk, was highly insulted that we would not allow him to add “cognac” to our wine. “It’s practically the same thing,” he insisted, until a Russian FSB general sitting opposite told him to drop it. We were inclined to cut the Colonel some slack, though: he is head of the unit to combat terrorism in Dagestan, and Gadzhi told us that extremists have sooner or later assassinated everyone who has joined that unit. We were more worried when an Afghan war buddy of the Colonel’s, Rector of the Dagestan University Law School and too drunk to sit, let alone stand, pulled out his automatic and asked if we needed any protection. At this point Gadzhi and his people came over, propped the rector between their shoulders, and let us get out of range.

  18. Nov 30 2010

    Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov will not go to Vienna to the trial on the murder in Austria of his former bodyguard Umar Israilov. This was stated by Andrei Krasnenkov, Kadyrov’s advocate. In his opinion, the investigation has no proofs of President’s involvement in the murder. However, the human rights activists, engaged in monitoring the litigation, are convinced that Kadyrov shall evidence and point to strong arguments present in case materials.

    “This is a landmark trial,” believes Souhayr Belhassen, President of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH). “It sheds light on the system of violence and impunity, created by Ramzan Kadyrov. If Russia decides to cooperate with judicial authorities of Austria, it will open the door to the process of responding for crimes. If Ramzan Kadyrov rejects the invitation of the court, Russia will once again demonstrate that she is not interested in justice.”

    • Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov is alleged to have orchestrated the murder of a regime opponent in Vienna. The suspected perpetrator is currently on the run and appears to have popped up in Grozny. Chechens living in exile claim to have recognized him with Kadyrov on Russian television.

      The arrest warrant, dated Jan. 28, 2009, carries the seal of the Republic of Austria. Page four is significant: It accuses the suspect of nothing less than murder. The European arrest warrant is issued for a Russian citizen with the name Lecha B., born in March 1975, with his last listed address being Unterhimmler Strasse in Steyr, Austria.

      Lecha B., is strongly suspected of having fired the shots that killed Umar Israilov on Jan. 13, 2009, a Chechen living in exile who had accused Chechen leader Kadyrov of torture. The files in the investigation state that there is conclusive evidence against Lecha B. — whom eyewitnesses had placed at the scene of the crime. Up until now, however, there has been no trace of the suspect. As a result, the spectacular trial in Vienna that began last week has so far only focused on three men who are believed to have abetted the murder.,1518,730811,00.html

      A few days ago, the Russian television broadcaster Vesti aired a report about a meeting in Grozny that took place in mid-September, during which Chechens came together in order to discuss the “reconciliation of blood feud enemies.”

      The true sensation in the clip, however, came 2:46 minutes into it, where Lecha is said to appear. The man can be seen wearing combat dress and a green tubeteika, a typical headdress. The video also shows that a man named Sultan Mirzayev, Kadyrov’s mufti, has been named the head of the Reconciliation Commission and is leading an event on the reconciliation of enemy clans that those present have apparently agreed to.

      Chechens in Vienna assured SPIEGEL that they clearly recognized Lecha B., the man who managed to evade Viennese investigators. He is thought to have fled through the Czech Republic, Poland and Belarus to Russia. On Jan. 25, 2009, investigators traced the location of his mobile phone for one last time in Russia.

  19. In secret conversations with the French, the top US diplomat Daniel Fried said it was unlikely Putin was not aware of the operation to poison Litvinenko with polonium, “given Putin’s attention to detail”.

    Fried also dismissed the idea that rogue criminal elements were to blame. The Russians were behaving with “increasing self-confidence to the point of arrogance”, he added, in a classified cable revealed yesterday.

    In a statement to the Guardian today, Marina Litvinenko said the cable – written two weeks after her husband’s death in November 2006 – confirmed her assertion this was a Kremlin-authorised operation.

    She said: “There is some satisfaction in seeing what we have all known to be true documented so officially, and I would add brutally by being so matter of fact in its description. It brings me a little closer to achieving truth and justice for my late husband.

    “For years we have been trying to get the authorities in the west to view my husband’s murder as a state-sponsored crime. Now it appears they knew it all along.”

    Marina Litvinenko recalled that while dying her husband had accused Putin of the poisoning, calling it “Vladimir Putin’s work”.

    “Now the whole world knows and can see the truth through the leaking of these official US documents,’ she said.

    The revelations in the cables were made by successive ambassadors in Moscow and published in the Guardian. The blunt reports disclosed by WikiLeaks conclude that Russia is a criminal state dominated by venal and bribe-hungry officials.

    Yet, while details of the cables spread quickly through websites and the blogosphere in Russia, television – from which an estimated 70% of Russians get their news – ignored the reports. State-controlled Rossiya made no mention of the allegations in its mid-morning news broadcast Instead, it reported on the Moscow river freezing over, on two Russian tourists being attacked by sharks in Egypt, and on government-employed truck drivers in the US who got drunk while transporting nuclear weapons.

    The news agency Interfax did publish extracts from cables alleging that Moscow’s recently sacked mayor Yuri Luzhkov presided over a “pyramid of corruption”. But Interfax – and other media outlets – remained mute over claims that Putin had “illicit proceeds” from abroad and had amassed a secret fortune.

    One Kremlin expert queried the timing of the disclosures and accused this newspaper of plotting to wreck Russia’s bid for the 2018 World Cup: “You have to immediately ask how does this benefit the Guardian?”
    Dmitry Badovsky, deputy director of the Social Systems Research Institute, told the state news agency Ria Novosti. “You can make several guesses. Why does this information appear on the eve of the choice of which country will host the 2018 World Cup, and in which England and Russia are leading rivals.”

    Russian state television did give over a large segment to Larry King’s interview with Putin, shown last night on CNN.

    Asked by King for his response to the assessment of the US defence secretary, Robert Gates – revealed earlier by WikiLeaks – that “Russian democracy has disappeared and that the government is being run by the security services,” Putin replied: “I am personally acquainted with Mr Gates, I have met him on several occasions. I think he is a very nice man and not a bad specialist. But Mr Gates, of course, was one of the leaders of the US Central Intelligence Agency and today he is defence secretary. If he also happens to be America’s leading expert on democracy, I congratulate you.”

    King also asked about the 10 Russian “sleeper agents” caught in the US in June and later deported to Moscow. Putin claimed that they had not harmed US interests, adding: “The methods employed by our special services differ in a good way from those used by US special services. Thank God, neither the agents in question or any other Russian intelligence officers are known to have been involved in creating secret prisons, kidnappings, or torture.”

    The prime minister also warned that Moscow must agree partnership with Washington over a joint missile defence shield. If not, he said, “Russia will just have to protect itself using various means, including the deployment of new missile systems to counter the new threats to our borders, and the development of new nuclear-missile technology.” Putin added: “We don’t want this. It’s not a threat. We are simply talking about what to expect if we can’t agree to work together.”

    The Kommersant newspaper said this morning that Putin’s comments showed “Russo-American relations are returning to the rhetoric of the cold war.”

  20. LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: “ Will it be “fun” for you when the first terrorist bomb explodes in Sochi, and the first thousand or so people are brutally murdered before the eyes of the world?

    Your use of the assertive word “when” shows that you are in-the-know on some extremist islamic plot to terrorize Sochi Olympics and that you are 100% confident that your plans will work out.

    But terrorists always plot new attacks on USA, Britain, Russia, India, etc. Gladly, 99.9% of their plots fail. So, your plot will fail too.

    Moreover, ever if there is a tiny chance that yours or other terrorist groups succeed in exploding a bomb in Sochi, this chance is no greater than a chance of such a bombing at, say, the London Olympics.

    So, should people say: “Will it be “fun” for you when the first terrorist bomb explodes in London, and the first thousand or so people are brutally murdered before the eyes of the world?” and move the Olympics from London to some place where the terrorists can’t reach, like the Moon or Mars?

    • Really? Are The Terrorists (TM) killing and/or being killed on almost daily basis in England, just like in the North Caucasus (for many years)?

      Also, something else that never happened in England ever since WWII (and even then it was Germans doing the bombing, not the British forces):

      European Court of Human Rights fined Russia for a loss of 24 residents of Chechnya during bombings in 2000

      Dec 03 2010, 18:00

      It’s not only “the terrorists” killing people with bombs in this conflict. And not even mostly them. Mostly, it was “the government”. During this particular bombing (Katyr-Yurt 2000) hundreds of people perished or were severely injured and disabled, this is not the first ruling in this case from ECHR (in fact Isayeva v Russia was one of the 3 very first decided North Caucasus cases). The general responsible for this massacre is Shamanov, one of the most notorious war criminals in Russia and now the commanding general of all Russian Airborne Forces as well as a “Hero of Russia”.

      So I’d propose to move the Olympics to some place where the Shamanovs can’t reach, and England would be actually fine (and yes, there are hills and mountains there, but there are no roadside bombs in “the peacetime” and no cluster bombs falling from the skies during the “military operations” too).

  21. As a Jewish person myself, I find it disturbing that you attribute to Robert the words or thoughts that he did not express. Who said anything about Russia engaging in the acts of the Holocaust? It clearly does not, at least not yet. Which does mean Russia is not an authoritarian police state.

    There are various kinds of fascist and/or totalitarian states. There are some which feel they must have Jewish pogroms, and then there are some which don’t feel they have to do it, like Mussolini’s Italy or Putin’s Russia.

    • RV,

      Not a police state, but a mafia state.

      The Russian so-called “government” used to be a secret police, but now they are just a (very) organized crime.

      And they still don’t even have any criminal police at all. All they have is just the “militia”.

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