Monthly Archives: March 2011

April 1, 2011 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  The Fangs of Russian Poverty

(2)  EDITORIAL: Medvedev and his Broken Record

(3)  EDITORIAL: LR Rates the Russia Blogs

(4)  When Putin Cheats, Russians Lose

(5)  When will Guilty Russians be Called to Account?

(6) Russians Melting in the Hot Miami Sunshine

NOTE:  This month LR celebrates its fifth birthday. Happy Birthday to us!!

EDITORIAL: The Horrifying Fangs of Russian Poverty


The Horrifying Fangs of Russian Poverty

Imagine having to live on $6.93 per day or less.

That’s all you’ve got to buy food and put a roof over your head, and to pay for transportation to and from your work, which pays you roughly $1.30 per hour. For medical expenses, entertainment, the whole shooting match.  You’ve got $0.42 per hour of each day to survive on.

Think you could do it?

If so, would you care to try it in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, where food prices jumped by 17.5 percent between June 2010 and February 2011? No? We didn’t think so.

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EDITORIAL: Medvedev the Broken Record


Medvedev the Broken Record

In our lead editorial today we comment on a fact that would be hilarious if it were not so horrifyingly tragic, namely the Kremlin’s claim that poverty is falling in Russia.  It’s not the only such instance we can point to. In fact, in Russia these days, virtually every new development falls into this category.

Take for instance the farcical utterances of so-called “president” Dima Medvedev days ago, when he roared that the army of terrorists that has been besieging Russia north to south, east to west, must immediately “surrender or be destroyed.” We would laugh openly at the utterly nonsensical pronouncements of this ridiculous, ignorant, dishonest little man if it were not for the fact that we know so many Russians will surely suffer and perish as a result of his stupidity.

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EDITORIAL: LR rates the Russia Blogs


LR rates the Russia Blogs

Happy birthday to us! This month, La Russophobe turns five years old, a mighty milestone, ancient in blog years.

It’s April, the month of our founding, and a young LR’s head turns once again to thoughts of blog ratings.  As we did last year at this time we offer our “top ten” list of the best Russia blogs on this planet.

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When Putin “Wins” by Cheating, Russians Lose

Vladimir Ryzhkov, writing in the Moscow Times:

The Tambov region provides an excellent illustration of the connection between United Russia’s political monopoly, rampant corruption and the low standard of living in Russia.

On July 13, President Dmitry Medvedev appointed Tambov Governor Oleg Betin to a fourth term. Betin has been governor several times since 1995. He is a member of United Russia, although in the 1990s he was a member of the Communist Party. Medvedev particularly values Betin for his role in the 2008 presidential election, when the president received more than 72 percent of the Tambov vote.

The results of the recent March 13 elections demonstrate that the Tambov region has not lost its touch in “organizing” elections, with United Russia reporting 65 percent of the vote there — one of its highest results in the March vote.

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When Will Guilty Russians be Called to Account for Terror?

Hero journalist Yulia Latynina, writing in the Moscow Times:

Throughout 10 years of terrorist attacks on Russian soil, not a single official has ever been held responsible for negligence of duty. Nobody was fired after terrorists seized Moscow’s Dubrovka theater. Nobody was called on the carpet after the massacre in Beslan and bomb attacks at Moscow’s Rizhskaya and Avtozavodskaya metro stations and in the Vladikavkaz, Astrakhan and Samara marketplaces. Even when the Nevsky Express train was bombed twice in separate incidents, nobody thought to take Russian Railways chief Vladimir Yakunin to task.

But when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the international arrivals hall of Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport, President Dmitry Medvedev told all of Russia that the guilty parties were none other than the owners of the privately held airport.

Who else could it have been?

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Russians, Melting in the Hot Miami Sunshine

Yeah, kinda sucks to be Russian. We feel you, Vera.

Those clever Russians had a little brainstorm for the major WTA Tour event in Miami, Florida, USA:  What if, they thought, we put our #1 and #3 female players on the same doubles team. Has to be a good result, right?


When #1 Vera Zvonareva (world #3) and #3 Svetlana Kuznetsova (world #15) stepped on the court for their second match of the Sony Ericsson tournament, they were blown off the court with the greatest of ease by a Spanish team composed of players ranked a lowly #33 and #77.

Ouch. Back to the drawing board, Russians.  Or maybe set fire to the drawing board and consider ping pong, or curling?

Then came the singles, where things got even uglier.

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March 26, 2011 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  Stunning Failure for Putin at the Polls

(2)  EDITORIAL:  The VEEP of the United States is a Moron

(3)  EDITORIAL:  You’re a Sick Man, Vova!

(4)  Putin Bails Out

(5) White Sun of the American Desert Scorches Russians

EDITORIAL: Stunning Failure for Putin at the Polls


Stunning Failure for Putin at the Polls

In a jolting humiliation for Vladimir Putin’s “party of power” United Russia, despite relentless vote rigging the party could not muster a national majority in the last week’s regional elections.  As reported by the Moscow Times, the election results are “a serious warning for the party, reflecting an increasing mood to protest in the regions,” said Alexei Makarkin, a political analyst with the Center for Political Technologies.

Even though Putin has purged every significant true opposition party from the ballot, his own party was in effect repudiated by the voters.  And, as Nikolai Petrov reports:  “Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is also the head of United Russia, took a more active role in Sunday’s elections he’s played in any since his own presidential election of 2000.”  So the result was very clearly a personal repudiation of Putin — to the extent the cowardly, lemming-like denizens of Russia are able to achieve such a thing.

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EDITORIAL: The Vice President of the United States is a Moron


The Vice President of the United States is a Moron

It’s pretty darned hilarious how members of the Democratic Party lampooned the last Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States, Sarah Palin, for being a buffoon then turned around and elected to that office a person who gives new meaning to the word moron.

At a recent meeting with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, the current U.S. Veep Joe Biden was asked by the Russian psychopath whether it wouldn’t be a good idea to let Russians waltz into the United States without visas.  First Biden said “good idea!” then he said “Mr. Prime Minister, in case you haven’t noticed, there’s a real difference between being president and vice president.”

Only Joe Biden could cram so much utter stupidity into such a small space. He makes Sarah Palin look like Winston Churchill.

It’s actually hard to list all the ways Biden’s foolish utterance is wrong.

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EDITORIAL: You’re a sick man, Vova!


You’re a sick man, Vova!

For us here at La Russophobe, the single most damning fact about the Russian people that anyone can point to is that they find Vladimir Zhirinovsky amusing, even sexy.  That this is possible betrays all you need to know about the fundamental corruption, the vile and odious horror, that is Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky personifies the very worst that a Russian can be.

Ignorant, crude, violent, sloppy, horrifying, disgusting, vile and worthless, Zhirinovsky is an oozing pustule of slime on the buttocks of a corrupt, malignant jackass of a country.  Naturally, Russians adore him, continually reelect him to the Duma and cover him with laurels, power and wealth.

But even by his standards, last week was a new low.

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Putin Bails Out

Hero journalist Yulia Latynina, writing in the Moscow Times:

Some of Russia’s largest and fattest rats are starting to flee the country’s sinking ship. Take, for example, Rosneft, which signed an agreement in January to exchange shares with BP, or Novatek, which sold 12 percent of its shares to the French company Total in February.

Given the individuals involved in these transactions and the fact that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was directly involved in both, the agreements look like an attempt by Russia’s ruling elite to create a financial cushion in the event that the Libyan or Egyptian scenario plays out in Russia.

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White Sun of American Desert Scorches Russian Female Tennis Players

More spectacular Russian female failure on the tennis court to report. Surprise, surprise.

Russia placed seven seeds into the 32-seed draw at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California last week, but only one in the top 10 and only two in the top 15.  Russia, you may have heard, is slipping.

And then it got worse.

Both of Russia’s two top seeds (#3 Vera Zvonareva and #11 Svetlana Kuznetsova) and three of its top four seeds (adding #17 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova) were blasted out of the major event before stepping on the court for their third matches.  A fifth seed, #24 Maria Kirilenko, likewise lost her second match.

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March 18, 2011 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  Russia, Drowning

(2)  EDITORIAL: Russia, Babbling

(3)  EDITORIAL:  Sean Guillory, Damnable Liar

(4)  At last, they Come for Putin

(5)  Putin Speeds Russia’s Ruin

(6) Yegiazaryan Lashes out at Putin

EDITORIAL: Russia, Drowning


Russia, Drowning

Last week the world heard yet another truly appalling bit of bad economic news about Putin’s Russia.  In January alone, Russia saw a shocking $13 billion in capital flight.  For some context, that figure was almost equal to the amount Russia lost in the first three months of 2010, and it was more than one third of the total amount Russia lost in all of 2010.

This news makes mincemeat of any claims that Russia is on the path to economic recovery. Anyone with a clue knows full well that, just as in 2008, the fact that the Russian stock market is surging carries with it no good news about Russia’s real economy. The stock market is only concerned about one thing, the price of crude oil, because the fact that Russia has oil is the economy’s only bright spot.

Intelligent people understand that Russia’s dependence on oil is a bad thing, not a good one, and they are voting with their wallets on whether Russia has a future.  The vote is a landslide:  Russia’ doesn’t.

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EDITORIAL: Russia, Babbling


Russia, Babbling

Last week yet another Russian satellite tumbled out of orbit, becoming just one more chapter in the humiliating tragicomedy that is Russia’s effort to leave the planet earth.  The culprit? According to Russia the satellite was bought down by American spies.

And those darned old spies had a busy week, because according to Russia’s president Dima Medvedev they were also busy practicing how to unseat the clan of KGB spies who prowl the Kremlin.  The practice session occurred in Libya, where American spies were working hard to unseat the legitimate and beloved leader Mr. Qadaffi.

Meanwhile, the heroic Kremlin strode boldly to Qadaffi’s defense, telling the world to stand by and watch while the maniac slaughtered tens of thousands of citizens or else Russia was going to get plenty mad.  It’s the same thing Russia has been saying about the lunatics in Iran for some time now.

And to cap it all off, a major pro-Kremlin party was held in honor of International Women’s Day in Moscow, and the featured entertainment turned out to be . . . strippers.

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EDITORIAL: Sean Guillory, Damnable Liar


Sean Guillory, Damnable Liar

Yeah, you're better without the mouth, Mr. Guillory. Much better.

Sean Guillory, an avowed Marxist and atheist, has been blogging about Russia since October 2004.  In the six and a half years since then, according to the counter on his blog, he has received just under 310,000 visits — that’s less than 50,000 per year, less than 140 per day.

By contrast La Russophobe, which has only been blogging for five years, has received nearly 2.8 million visits — that’s almost 560,000 per year, more than 1,500 per day.  In other words, we have over ten times more traffic than Sean.

The reason for that is pretty simple. Sean tells lies about Russia, and sensible people aren’t interested in lies.

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At last, they come for Putin

The brilliant Vladimir Kara-Murza, writing on World Affairs:

The scope of corruption in Vladimir Putin’s Russia has been much discussed, documented in expert reports and quantified in international ratings. Transparency International estimates the country’s annual corruption market at $300 billion; its Corruption Perception Index placed Russia in 154th place, behind Congo and Libya. As economist Anders Ǻslund has noted, there is only one country in the world that is both richer (in terms of GDP per capita) and more corrupt than Mr. Putin’s Russia — and that is Equatorial Guinea. Yet despite many suspicions, Mr. Putin himself has not been openly named in relation to a specific scheme — until now.

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Putin has Russia flat out on the Expressway to Disaster

Paul Goble reports:

Although this has been sometimes obscured by high oil and gas prices, the policies Vladimir Putin has carried out over the last decade “are contributing to an economic and political trend which repeats that which led to the demise of the Soviet Union,” according to a leading Moscow commentator.

Writing in Novaya Gazeta, Georgy Satarov, the head of the INDEM Foundation, argues that once these trends and the dangers they present are recognized by Russian society “disappointment with Putin will be much deeper and more severe than the [currently widespread] disappointment in Gorbachev or Yeltsin.

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Yegiazaryan: Another Notch on Putin’s Gun

Ashot Yegiazaryan

Ashot Egiazaryan, who served as deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party in the State Duma since 1999, writing in the Moscow Times:

On Wednesday, a plenary session of the State Duma is to confirm a warrant for my arrest on allegations of embezzlement. The vote is of little consequence since the Investigative Committee placed me on Russian and international wanted lists earlier this year. This was retaliation for my efforts to contest the theft of my stake in the Moskva Hotel through a conspiracy orchestrated by politically connected individuals.

The Duma vote is nothing more than bureaucratic “tidying up.” Since I am a deputy, the Duma should have agreed to the Investigative Committee request before the arrest order was issued by the committee, not after the event. This marks the latest act in a Kafka-esque drama that makes a regular crime thriller seem like dull reading.

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March 11, 2011 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  Lethal Russia

(2)  EDITORIAL:  The Foundering Putin Economy

(3)  EDITORIAL:  Russia Stands Alone

(4)  The Fetid Smell of Russian February

(5)  Another Appalling new Low for Russian “Justice”

(6) CARTOON:  Of Russian Mice, and Men

NOTE:  Holy Russian Empire, Batman!  LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld’s latest piece on the mighty Pajamas Media megablog describes the horrific rise of an Orthodox religious state in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

EDITORIAL: Lethal Russia


Lethal Russia

Global risk manager Maplecroft has completed its 2011 Global Risks Analysis, reviewing and rating 175 world nations for risk to personal security and to capital.  Care to guess what position Vladimir Putin’s Russia occupies on that list?


That’s right — only 20 countries on this planet, less than 12% of the total, are more dangerous than Putin’s Russia.

Maplecroft explains why:

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EDITORIAL: The Foundering Putin Economy


The Foundering Putin Economy

Last week saw another epic tidal wave of bad economic news sweep over the helpless shores of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

It was announced that Russia had lost a whopping $30 billion in capital flight last year, a stunning four times more than the Kremlin had predicted would occur.  The bloodletting continued in shocking fashion this year, when capital outflow in January alone reached $13 billion despite a rising oil prices that should have redirected foreign money towards Russian assets.  At this rate, capital flight in 2011 will be even higher than it was last year.

Then the world learned that Russia has the lowest foreign investment rate of any emerging economy on the planet. Major retailers like Wal-mart and Carrefour have rejected the Russian market entirely, while others like Ikea have ceased further investment.  Foreign banks too, it was reported, are fleeing the Russian market, lest their capital be stolen by the so-called “government” they find there.

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EDITORIAL: Russia Stands Alone


Russia Stands Alone

At a cost of billions of dollars to the Russian weapons industry, one by one Russia’s malignant allies around the world have begun to topple like dominoes.  At horrific cost to its reputation among the civilized nations of the world, Russia has bet its future on a shoddy list of rogue states and dictatorial maniacs who are now being thrust out of power by the people Russia has helped them to mercilessly abuse.

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The Fetid Smell of Russian Feburary

The heroic Yulia Latynina, writing in the Moscow Times:

The smell of February is lingering in the air — February 1917, that is.

I am not talking about the revolutions in the Middle East but about Russia’s extraordinarily weak leaders and the growing contempt that the leading public figures and ordinary citizens are showing toward them.

Look how quickly the seemingly ironclad vertical power structure can evaporate into thin air. For example, Bolshoi prima-turned-celebrity Anastasia Volochkova had no qualms about publicly thumbing her nose at United Russia when she quit the party after revealing that she was “tricked” into signing a group letter in support of prosecuting former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky. In the 1970s, no Soviet citizen would have even thought about snubbing the Communist Party.

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