June 17, 2011 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL: Non-competitive Russia

(2)  EDITORIAL: Putin is Killing Russia with his Neo-Soviet Song

(3)  EDITORIAL:  Welcome to the Horror of Neo-Soviet Russia

(4)  Putin Goes Totalitarian

(5)  Pandemic Vote Fraud in Putin’s Russia

(6)  A Postcard from a Russophile Stoogette

(7)  CARTOONS: Russia’s Super Toilet

NOTE:  LR founder and publisher Kim Zigfeld’s latest installment on the powerful and influential American Thinker blog analyzes the shocking new evidence of electoral corruption in Putin’s Russia and the even more shocking silence of the Obama administration in regard to it.

7 responses to “June 17, 2011 — Contents

  1. Ex-Russian Officer Who Killed Chechen Shot Dead


    Yuri Budanov was sentenced to 10 years in prison for kidnapping and strangling 18-year-old Heda Kungayeva in 2000, during a war between Islamist Chechen separatists and the federal government. His 2009 release on parole sparked protests in Chechnya, but was cheered by Russian ultranationalists and neo-Nazis.

    Fearing reprisals from the capital’s uncompromising ultranationalists, Moscow police dispatched patrols and riot police to prevent a repeat of ethnic violence at a square near the Kremlin late last year.

    An unidentified assassin fired six shots at Budanov as the 48-year-old ex-colonel walked out of a notary office, Russia’s top investigative agency said. Four of the shots hit him in the head, killing him instantly, and his body was found on a sidewalk next to a playground.

    The assassin left a gun with a silencer in a half-burned car that was found several blocks away from the shooting, the Investigative Committee said.

    Police feared Budanov’s body may have been booby trapped, and for hours left it as they found it — face down against a curb. Sappers eventually confirmed there was no danger.

    Rights activists have accused Russian security forces and their pro-Moscow Chechen allies of widespread abuses against residents of Chechnya, including kidnapping, torture and extrajudicial killings. Thousands of civilians were killed or went missing during and after the conflict.

    Budanov was one of only a handful of Russian officers to be prosecuted over what rights groups say were widespread atrocities during two wars in Chechnya.

    • Budanov was subsequently released on parole early in January 2009. The decision sparked angry rallies in Chechnya and even prompted protests from the republic’s pro-Moscow administration.

      Just days later, Stanislav Markelov, a human rights lawyer, was gunned down as he came out of a press conference held to protest Budanov’s early release.


    • According to a source, the gunman was dressed in military uniform, the ITAR-TASS reports.


      As reported by a source from law enforcement bodies, the version of Budanov’s murder as a revenge for the murder of the Chechen girl will be considered among the first ones. The source has reminded that the murder of Elsa Kungaeva “had aroused broad public attention, particularly in Chechnya and Northern Caucasus as a whole.”

      “Many people there believed and believe that the cruel abuse of the girl was a sort of their personal insult; they were ready to commit this step of revenge,” said the source as quoted by the “Interfax”.

      “This murder will surely spur up the nationalistic sentiments in Russia,” said Dmitry Dyomushkin, one of the leaders of the all-Russian nationalist movement “Russians”, making his comments on Budanov’s murder. According to his version, nationalists “have no doubt that the traces of this killing lead to the Chechen Republic.”

      Adam Delimkhanov, the closest ally of the head of Chechnya and a State Duma Deputy, called the murder of Yuri Budanov “an act of revenge,” the “Gazeta.Ru” writes.

  2. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) condemned Russia on Tuesday over the disappearance of three Chechen men presumed dead.

    The Court awarded 60,000 euros ($88,000) to the families of each of the three missing men after ruling a breach of the right to life, freedom and safety.


    Russia has been criticised by Strasbourg more than 150 times for its actions in the Caucasus region and there are more than 250 cases pending.

    Moscow generally pays the sums and does not appeal the court rulings but does not reopen investigations when requested. No one has ever appeared in court over the crimes, according to the Russian Justice Initiative organisation.

  3. The investigation into the death of journalist Yuri Schekochikhin, who shortly before his death, namely in 2002-2003, was a member of the public commission of inquiry into the explosions of houses in Moscow and Volgodonsk in 1999, was resumed five times, and then stopped. This was stated by Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of the “Novaya Gazeta”. According to his story, the newspaper continues its independent inquiry into the death of Schekochikhin.


    While speaking about Yuri Schekochikhin’s activities, Dmitry Muratov reminded that during the first Chechen war in 1996, Yuri gave birth to the idea to gather a group for releasing prisoners-of-war. “He wanted to make use of his MP’s status and his good contacts, in the first place, at the General Prosecutor’s Office, in order to try releasing, without paying any ransom, Russian soldiers, hostages and civilians. A group was set up, which included the then Deputy General Power Prosecutor Mikhail Katyshev, Major Vyacheslav Izmailov and Yury Schekochikhin,” said Muratov.

    “Yuri had started the work, which resulted, on the basis of interaction, in release of 170 persons from captivity. None of the captives had been released for money,” said the editor-in-chief of the “Novaya Gazeta”.

    Yuri Schekochikhin died at night on July 3, 2003, in Moscow. According to the forensic examination, the death was caused by the gravest general intoxication, expressed in Lyell’s syndrome. In October 2007, at the insistence of the “Novaya Gazeta”, the Investigatory Committee at the Russian Prosecutor’s Office (ICPO) resumed their investigation into the death of Yuri Schekochikhin. On April 4, 2008, a criminal case under the “murder” article was initiated. In September 2008, exhumation of Schekochikhin’s body was conducted; and a new examination into his death was appointed. On April 4, 2009, the criminal investigation into the death of Schekochikhin was stopped for the absence of the event of the crime.

    However, on September 16, 2010, the ICPO resumed the criminal investigation into the death of Yuri Schekochikhin “in connection with the new data received by the investigation, which require additional examinations.” Studies at two laboratories revealed two pharmaceutical ingredient (phenol and lidocaine), which were not supposed to be in the human body.

  4. A Moscow court acquitted a human rights activist of charges of slandering Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin-backed strongman who rules the southern province with an iron grip.

    The court ruled that Oleg Orlov’s allegations that Kadyrov was responsible for the killing of an activist in Chechnya were “hypothetical” and did not constitute slander.

    Orlov had maintained the charges were aimed at undermining his Memorial human rights group, which has persistently accused Kadyrov of overseeing extrajudicial killings, kidnappings, torture and other violations in his province.

    “It’s a joyous occasion. I took this case as being political right from the start,” Orlov said in a packed courtroom corridor. “I always said that in the eyes of the law we were right.”

    “I’m glad not that I’ve been vindicated, but that justice has been done,” he said. “It’s a very rare thing.”


  5. Meeting in Paris in mid-May, the government and parliament in exile of the Chechen Republic Ichkeria (ChRI), overthrown as a result of the Russian military intervention in the fall of 1999, formally reaffirmed their support for the Chechen resistance commanders who last summer rescinded their oath of allegiance to Caucasus Emirate head Doku Umarov.

    Those dissident commanders subsequently criticized the way in which Umarov renounced the cause of an independent Chechnya in favor of a hypothetical Islamic state encompassing the entire North Caucasus.

    That statement of support adopted in Paris was posted on the ChRI website on May 31, five days after the U.S. State Department designated the Caucasus Emirate “a terrorist organization” and announced a reward of $5 million for the capture of Umarov.

    The State Department had designated Umarov a terrorist in June 2010, at the same time differentiating clearly between Umarov and the “radical jihadists,” on the one hand, and what it termed the “national-separatist” wing of the Chechen insurgency on the other.


    Noting that there can be no military solution to the ongoing Russian-Chechen war, the May statement acknowledges, and expresses unequivocal support for, the “leading role” played by the armed resistance, while simultaneously condemning “terrorism in all its manifestations.”

    The May statement is complemented by a video clip (the first of four) of the Paris meeting posted on the ChRI website that is clearly intended to underscore visually the message that Gakayev and his fellow commanders are the legitimate successors to the elected wartime leaders of the ChRI.

    The clip opens with three minutes of archival TV footage, with the ChRI national anthem as musical backing, of the inauguration in November 1991 of Djokhar Dudayev as the first president of the ChRI.

    That archival footage is cut and interspliced with shots of successive ChRI presidents and prominent military commanders, most of them now dead.

    They are, in order of appearance, Dudayev’s vice president, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev; Maskhadov, in dress uniform; Abdul-Khalim Sadullayev, who succeeded Maskhadov as ChRI president in March 2005; renegade field commander Shamil Basayev, who served periodically as Maskhadov’s prime minister; Hamzat Gelayev, nicknamed by the Russians “the Black Angel,” whose military prowess during the first war and in 1999-2000 led some to regard him as the Islamic messiah or Mahdi; Arbi Yovmirzayev (“Mansur”), the brilliant Islamic scholar whom Umarov unsuccessfully sought to have assassinated for his criticism of the Caucasus Emirate, and who was killed by a land mine in February 2010; Aslanbek Vadalov, military strategist and commander of the Eastern Front, who like Gakayev broke with Umarov last summer; Gakayev; and “Makhran,” who commanded the attack last August on pro-Moscow Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov’s home village.

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