FRIDAY JANUARY 21 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Parfyonov vs. Putin, the Smackdown
(2) EDITORIAL: China vs. Russia, the Smackdown
(3) EDITORIAL: Russia is #10!
(4) Desert Siberia
(5) Russians Scrooge Christmas
(6) CARTOON: Frosty the Putinman
NOTE: LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld’s latest installment on the mighty Pajamas Media megablog details the craven reaction of the Obama administration to the arrest and persecution of Boris Nemtsov. Shame on you, Mr. Obama.
NOTE: An extensive interview with opposition activist Oleg Kozlovsky has been posted on YouTube.
Parfyonov vs. Putin, the Smackdown
One of the most remarkable events in Russian history occurred in November 2010, but you can be forgiven if you missed it. State-sponsored Russian television did not think it worthy of mentioning.
The event was an acceptance speech by Leonid Parfyonov to a black-tie audience at a ceremony where was presented with the first Listyev Prize from state-sponsored Channel One television, in honour of Vladislav Listyev, a Russian journalist who was murdered in 1995 in Moscow. Thankfully, it survives on YouTube, with subtitles. Parfyonov blogs in Russian on LiveJournal.
Little did the Kremlin realize what it was in for when it authorized Parfyonov to receive this award!
The Dallas-Forth Worth Tribune reports:
Picture a town inaccessible by road, buried under ice and snow for eight months of the year, unable to support a movie theater and without enough cars to warrant a traffic light or even a stop sign.
Chersky is the definition of isolation — or, in Stalinist terms, exile. This forbidding area of northeastern Siberia, where winter temperatures commonly sink to about -50 Celsius, (about -60 F) was once part of the Gulag, the network of prisons for the Kremlin’s enemies.
The town has shed more than half its population of 12,000 in the hard times that followed the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Many of those remaining say they also would leave if they could.
The indispensable Paul Goble reports:
Fewer than two percent of Russian citizens attended Orthodox Christmas church celebrations this year, a number that calls into question not only the claims of the Moscow Patriarchate that Russian population is overwhelmingly Orthodox but also the special relationship it has with the state and the state’s spending to promote Orthodoxy.
As Svetlana Solodovnik noted in Yezhednevny Zhurnal, perhaps no other public organization has benefited as much from the tandem as the Russian Orthodox Church which has positioned itself as the moral arbiter of the majority and extracted both the return of property and enormous state subsidies.
If only the real one would melt as easily!