FRIDAY APRIL 15 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Russia, Land of Failure
(2) EDITORIAL: Russia, Land of Liars and Morons
(3) EDITORIAL: Russia, Land of Bandits
(4) Russia, Land of Mindless Sheep
(5) Russia, Land of Hypocrites
(6) Russia, Land of Extinction, Part I
(7) Russia, Land of Extinction, Part II
NOTE: 57% of Russian white-collar professionals are ready to leave the country. More than 1.25 million Russians have left the country in the last few years. Our special issue today explains why, revolting chapter and horrifying verse.
Russia, Nation of Liars and Morons
In 1803, the United States paid the Emperor of France $15 million and purchased 828,800 square miles of land west of the Mississippi, known as the “Louisiana Territory.” It was full of viable, fertile farmland and other freely accessible natural resources, directly linked to the existing continental United States, and it cost $0.18 per square mile.
Sixty-four years later, the United States paid the Emperor of Russia $7.2 million and purchased 586,412 square miles of territory in the extreme northwest of the North American continent, which has since become the State of Alaska. Russia had virtually exhausted the fur trade there and, as far as was then known, the territory was absolutely useless. The U.S. government was mocked and castigated for the “folly” it had engaged in, which cost $0.12 per square mile to indulge in. Recently, Americans celebrated the anniversary of this transaction, which turned out OK in the end.
A hoard of idiotic, apelike Russians still complain to this day, though, that they did not get a fair deal in the purchase of Alaska. Pravda for instance recently called the deal “one of the strangest in history.” It was nothing of the kind.
Russia, Land of Bandits
The image above shows the dictator of Libya and the dictator of Russia flying in attack aircraft to bomb their own populations in to submission, with the Russian using a computer attack rather than an explosive. It is the work of the genius Russian cartoonist Sergei Yelkin, better known as Ellustrator, an refers to a recent massive cyber attack on the Live Journal blogging network in Russia which shut down the entire service for the better part of a day (even the blog of so-called Russian “president” Dima Medvedev was affected — interestingly, Vladimir Putin is not a blogger and was left unscathed). A few days later a massive attack was launched on the website of Novaya Gazeta, Russia’s leading opposition newspaper. Both Anton Nosik and Alexei Navalny, the two titans of the Russian blogosphere, made it clear that the Putin Kremlin was to blame, in preparation for the rigging of the next presidential “elections.”
Masha Lipman of the Carnegie Moscow Center, writing in the Moscow Times:
The Russian government, with its solid hold on power, has invariably gotten away with poor performance, inefficiency, corruption and widespread violation of political rights and civil liberties. Polls consistently demonstrate that Russians are not deluded. They routinely respond in surveys that government officials are corrupt and self-serving. According to a poll conducted last summer, 80 percent believe that “many civil servants practically defy the law.”
And yet Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has enjoyed high and steady approval ratings for years. A mild drop in early 2011 probably reflected frustration over social injustice and a growing sense of insecurity and uncertainty about the future. Even so, about 70 percent of respondents in a February poll said they approved of Putin’s performance. President Dmitry Medvedev’s approval ratings are only slightly lower.
Streetwise Professor reports:
It’s amazing the things Russophobes will say. Like this:
“Right now [Russia’s] investment climate is so bad that it won’t be affected” [by the imminent failure of the BP-Rosneft deal].
What slander. Must be some retrograde, Cold War fossil.
Check that. It was Arkady Dvorkovich, Medvedev’s top economic aide.
Paul Goble reports:
Preliminary results from the 2010 Russian census highlight some of that country’s most serious underlying problems and thus appear likely to be the subject of intense discussion and debate not only among commentators but also in the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections.
The results show a continuing decline in the total Russian population, a hollowing out of much of the country, an increase in the gender imbalance Russia has suffered since World War II, and, what is especially disturbing to many Russians, a shift in the ethnic balance of the population as a result of differential birthrates and immigration.
And those trends — which some observers are already suggesting may be even worse than the official figures show — help explain why some Russian leaders wanted to put off the census or at least reports of its findings until after the 2012 presidential elections lest the census data call attention to the failures of Moscow’s policies over the last decade.