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.

Then there was Natalya Vasilyeva, spokeswoman to Judge Viktor Danilkin in the second criminal case against Khodorkovsky, who revealed that the verdict was written by the Moscow City Court and forced on Danilkin. Certainly Vasilyeva would have never dared such a move if she thought that her life were at risk.

Meanwhile, Russian authorities are worried about their loss of control over citizens who blatantly display insolence and contempt toward the current regime. Pressed to the wall, the only thing President Dmitry Medvedev could say to deflect attention from these embarrassing weaknesses was his Putin-like bluster in Vladikavkaz last week, when he implied that foreign powers are conspiring (again) to disintegrate Russia.

Let’s not forget Russia’s courts. Billionaire Gennady Timchenko filed a libel lawsuit against opposition figure Boris Nemtsov, and Nemtsov turned around and filed a slander case against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Timchenko sued Nemtsov for writing that Putin’s old friends — himself, Yury Kovalchuk and the Rotenberg brothers — were “nobodies” before Putin came to power but quickly became billionaires during his reign.

Nemtsov responded to the charges by presenting documents to the court showing that, before Putin came to power, Timchenko had a yearly income of 326,000 euros ($450,000) in 1999, while Forbes estimated his fortune at $1.9 billion in 2010. Nemtsov also presented a document showing that Timchenko had flown gymnast Alina Kabayeva along with Putin’s friend Nikolai Shamalov, the nominal owner of Putin’s $1 billion Black Sea palace, in his private jet.

Nemtsov filed a lawsuit against Putin for stating during his annual televised call-in show that Nemtsov and others had embezzled billions of dollars along with tycoon Boris Berezovsky in the 1990s.

The only thing Putin’s lawyers could present as evidence in court was a Wikipedia article about Berezovsky that made no mention of Nemtsov but did state that Berezovsky financed and organized Putin’s presidential election campaign in 2000.

The notion that Putin is a leader who instills fear and discipline among bureaucrats and citizens is a myth. One WikiLeaks diplomatic cable revealing that most of Putin’s decrees went unfulfilled is enough evidence in and of itself.

With Putin looking more like Tsar Nicholas II, the smell of February 1917 is clearly in the air. It is the smell of a confused, wounded and weakened leader and a bureaucratic class standing dazed before the public eye. It is the smell of blood in the water.

It is not an especially pleasant odor because as experience has shown in impoverished countries led by corrupt and incompetent rulers, this kind of February 1917 can easily bring about another October 1917.

20 responses to “The Fetid Smell of Russian Feburary

  1. Putin will be saved by the turmoil in the Middle East. The price of oil will skyrocket and there will be another boom in Russia.
    You can thank Obama and No drill policy that forces the US to purchase oil from Russia.

    • But we buy only a very small amount of oil from Russia; I think it’s less than 5% of our total imports.

      Surprisingly, there are many experts who think Russia and some other petro states can be devastated by the rise in the oil prices.

      • In markets, where there are multiple producers and multiple consumers, it doesn’t matter (except for transportation costs) which consumer buys from which producer. It’s all in the supply-and-demand graphs.

        • It’s not quite true. First off, all oil is not the same, quality and chemical composition matters. But more importantly, supply and demand control only in free markets. Oil markets are not free. OPEC and other governmental entities of various countries manipulate the prices and supply all the time.

          • Except for transportation costs, what is the difference between the following scenarios:

            A). USA buys 100 tons of the commodity from Venezuela, and China buys 100 tons of the commodity from Saudi Arabia

            and

            B). USA buys 100 tons of the commodity from Saudi Arabia, and China buys 100 tons of the commodity from Venezuela

            ?

            • Depends on whether the oil is crude or refined.

              Venezuelan oil is pretty dirty in comparison to Saudi Oil, and requires a lot more refining.

              • You are missing the point.

                • No, as usual you showed your lack of understanding.

                  Aside from transportation cost, there is a difference in the cost of refining.

                  • You are missing the point. I am not commenting on the difference in the chemical composition of different crude oil in different places. I am illustrating a point about the distribution of a commodity:

                    When consumer country A tries to boycott producer country B by stopping to buy its commodity X, country B will find another country C which will buy this commodity from B. Thus, such individual boycotts don’t work.

                    Thus, if US stops purchasing oil from Russia, Russia will sell this oil to some other country.

                    At the same time, USA will have to find another producer to replace its loss of Russian oil.

                    Is it becoming any clearer?

                    • LOL, Maimuni, you phrased the original question poorly, not surprising given your obvious lack of intelligence.

                    • Maimoneedes

                      No, Andrew, what I worte was:

                      “In markets, where there are multiple producers and multiple consumers, it doesn’t matter (except for transportation costs) which consumer buys from which producer. ”

                      I just addressed my original post to people more intelligent than you. But since you replied, I gradually lowered my level of explanation until you finally understood. Wouldn’t be the first time, would it? For example, observe how much time and effort it took me to explain to you the trivial concept of “per capita average”:

                      https://larussophobe.wordpress.com/2009/06/22/editorial-russia-exposed-as-the-black-sheep-of-bric/#comment-49408

                      And how much abuse and insult you gave me along the way…

                      Obviously maths is not Ostaps strongpoint.

                      You are by far dumber than any student that I’ve taught math to in my entire life. And I am sorry that I broke the solemn promise that I made at that time:

                      God, why do I have to waste my time on elementary school dropouts like you? This is the last time I am doing this.

                    • No Ostap, you phased the question incorrectly, you must be a damn incompetent economist if thats the best you can do.

                      I know you are a slimy and simple little turd, but really, the chemical composition of oil has a direct bearing on who will purchase it.

                      Refining costs, the fact that some oils are unsuited to being refined into certain products etc, will have a direct effect on who will purchase what from whom.

                      If you don’t understand that, you are an all too typical Russian idiot.

                      And lets look to your total inability to understand the history of any country, especially those that your vile nation of Russia has committed so many atrocities against.

                      Russia was and is no different to Nazi Germany, and moronic filth such as yourself prove it entirely.

            • Well, the oil from Venezuela is not the same as from Saudi Arabia. So, the price may be different because of it. Also, in your example, both sellers are from the OPEC. If one or both of them was non-OPEC (e.g., Norway or Scotland), the situation with pricing would be even more complicated. There may be also some bi-lateral treaties fixing the price, etc. I would not be surprised if it costs China less than the U.S. to buy that oil from Venezuela.

              In other words, you are grossly oversimplifying if you think it’s all about supply and demand. It’s also about politics and other things as well

              • You are missing my point:

                If US stops purchasing oil from Russia, Russia will sell this oil to some other country.

                At the same time, USA will have to find another producer to replace its loss of Russian oil.

  2. Laslo Toth Jr.

    In the 1970s, no Soviet citizen would have even thought about snubbing the Communist Party… Certainly Vasilyeva would have never dared such a move if she thought that her life were at risk.

    Whoa! My tiny russophobic brain is getting confused here. You have spent the last 5 years trying to convince us that modern Russia has less freedom than the Soviet Union did… And now this admission?!

    It is not an especially pleasant odor because as experience has shown in impoverished countries led by corrupt and incompetent rulers, this kind of February 1917 can easily bring about another October 1917.

    Whoa! Didn’t you just recently encourage Russia to follow the example of the impoverished country of Egypt, led its corrupt and incompetent ruler Mubarak, and to have a revolution?

    https://larussophobe.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/what-russians-can-learn-from-egyptians/
    Impoverished Egyptians love their country enough to risk everything to save it from the abyss. Russians, clearly, have no such affection for their motherland…. Basically, you’re saying that people should never carry out a revolution because there is always a chance what comes after will be worse.

    • Laslo: Even though the team wouldn’t admit it openly, their honest opinion on the subject is that Mubarak would be just swell for Russia. As fitting for a bunch of Western delusional crackpots — most notably of Anglo-Saxon descent — LR judges countries, peoples, and governments primarily on the latters’ degree of subservience to Western imperalism. What Mubarak did to Egypt was exactly what Pinochet did to Chile. To wit: Ruined the country, ruled by terror for decades, licked the boots of the Western corporations and their “legal” representative bodies. Not so Putin, the vile creature.

      What we can learn from all this is that as a rule-of-thumb, Western smear campaigns testify to the sanity and honesty of their targeted recipients. Russia will only be spared these psychotic tantrums once its jurisdiction over its territory and its resources is irretrievably lost.

  3. Some many “oilers” here ! o_O Such terms as “good”, “better”, “dirty” etc, are npot applicable onto Crude Oils ))) “Dirty” term concerns the PRODUCTS and not Crude. Before splitting hairs about “quality” of CO it’s necessary to specify targets/predestination, first… Or, at least, to narrow the range, to point “heavy crude” or “light crude”. Some kinds of venezuelian crude 3 times more expensive than average Aramco’s one. So, target the criteria for evaluation, first (density, viscosity, distillation ability, suplhur content, paraffine content, etc…)

  4. @Antdrek:

    That was my reply to your idiotic claim that there were so many Georgians living in Russia.

    And are you saying that there were not many Georgians living in Russia? Then how do you explain that in 2004, illegal Georgians accounted for 25% of all the money sent home by all illegal immigrants working in Russia?

    http://emigration.russie.ru/news/7/5385_1.html

    Illegal Migrants: Criminals or Victims?

    01.05.2004

    Today, according to experts, the country is home to more than 5 million illegal immigrants.

    Experts estimate that illegal immigrants from the CIS countries annually take home from Russia about $4 billion dollars. Illegal guest workers from Georgia alone take to their homeland, according to conservative estimates, about $1 billion dollars.

    All this is taken into account by the criminals who found their niche in the business of transporting and exploiting illegal migrants. The very composition of the Russian criminal world speaks volumes. The Russian organized crime community is multinational: about 33% are Slavs, 32% of the leaders of the criminal world are Georgians, 8% – Armenians, 5% – Azeris, and the remaining 22% – representatives of the peoples of the Greater Caucasus and Central Asia.

  5. La Russophobe! I feel the fetid smell of stupidity or corruption in your declaration that A.Koslov`s death is the political murder and friendship with the Latynina who has the job to convince the country that it`s a private murder by vindictive young man.Latynina has many pretensions by advocates in connection with her participation in criminal cases.
    I see Western people don`t understand the level of the demagogy of the journalists-the heritage of the Soviet Media.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s