FRIDAY JULY 8 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Craven Russia Soils Democracy
(2) EDITORIAL: Russia’s Very, Very Unfriendly Skies
(3) EDITORIAL: Russia and its “Wealth”
(4) EDITORIAL: Bulgaria gives Russia a Lesson
(5) Pain and Humiliation for Russia at Wimbledon
NOTE: LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld documents on the American Thinker blog the relentless failure of the Putin regime and the equally horrific failure of Barack Obama’s Russia policy. She demands justice from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as Obama seeks to confirm his proposed new ambassador. We join in that demand.
Moscow KGB “church” (MP)
Voices from Russia
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Patriarch Kirill Called the Peoples of Russia, the Ukraine, and Byelorussia to Spiritual Unity
Note well that KMG calls for the spiritual unity of the Russian, Byelorussian, and Ukrainian peoples. The Church Slavonic language is an exterior sign of that unity. We’re not abandoning it… that’s why we’re bringing it up to date. It’s the banner of our Unity… it’s the flower of our One Local Church. Loudmouthed konvertsy and Renovationist pseudo-scholars screaming for this-or-that change can all eat shit and die
Dispute emerges over Russian lawyer’s jail death
Today at 08:58 | Associated Press
MOSCOW (AP) — Activists plan to present evidence Tuesday that a Russian lawyer who accused officials of corruption died after a brutal beating by prison guards, saying investigators’ findings that a lack of medical treatment killed the man fell short of the full truth.
He said the panel had found evidence that Magnitsky had died shortly after eight prison guards handcuffed him, took him to a cell and beat him with truncheons.
“We have concluded that he died of beating,” Borshchev told The Associated Press. “It was a real torture to beat an ailing man with truncheons.”
Ah the “real beauty” of Putin’s FASCIST cum neo soviet oppressive empire is being proved as such to the world. Well that is with the exception of the blind and brain damaged communist indoctrinated stooges that infest this world and in their simple state of mind believe it’s a paradise.
Sadly we human’s were not brought up to be equal, as there will always be that sick communist element of comrades that exploits the good and honest nature in humanity by oppressing them to their own evil advantage.
Nuremberg was just a whitewash to the most evil empire in the world where they even tried to charge the Nazi’s with their own Katyn massacre, but thankfully the allies saw through the fabricated soviet evidence (read lies) and excluded the Katyn crime from the list of atrocities committed by the Nazis.
Suddenly! Russian Mafia underboss Dima M. makes a startling discovery:
Medvedev: Criminal acts killed Russian lawyer Magnitsky
Europe’s No. 1 Violator of Human Rights
05 July 2011
By Vladimir Ryzhkov
Russian authorities have declared a short summer time-out in their conflict with the Council of Europe and its European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
On Thursday, the State Duma decided to delay until fall a review of a bill sponsored by Federation Council Deputy Speaker Alexander Torshin that would allow the Constitutional Court to free the Kremlin in certain cases from its obligation to abide by the European court rulings against Russia. The bill would also make it more difficult for Russian citizens to sue the government in Strasbourg.
Despite the summer respite, the conflict will surely escalate once the Duma takes up the bill again in September.
But the issue is much deeper than the language in the bill. The larger question is whether Russia deserves to be a member of the Council of Europe at all.
In the early 1990s, one of President Boris Yeltsin’s goals was for Russia to become a member of the Council of Europe as a key step toward becoming a full-fledged member of European society. Yeltsin very much wanted to show the outside world and Russian citizens that Russia is committed to European democratic values and, most important, human rights.
Russia first applied for membership in 1992 and became a member in February 1996. In 1998, Russia ratified the European Convention on Human Rights and agreed to subject itself to the legal jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights in cases when Russian plaintiffs have exhausted all legal channels within the country. The first decisions in favor of Russian citizens against the Russian government were delivered in 2002.
Over the past 15 years, the Council of Europe has closely monitored Russia to make sure that it is fulfilling its obligations as a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights and to the European Court of Human Rights. In total, Russia has ratified more than 50 European conventions that commit the Kremlin to defend human rights in the country. But, unfortunately, these commitments remain only on paper; they have not been implemented in practice. Reports issued by the Council of Europe consistently conclude that the Russian government is not free and democratic because it does not have an independent judicial system and mass media, as well as fair elections.
Two bloody wars in Chechnya in which there were widespread violations of human rights caused deep rifts in ties in relations between Russia and the Council of Europe. In 2000, the Russian delegation’s voting rights were suspended in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe as a result of gross violations of human rights in Chechnya.
But the list of differences between the Council of Europe and Russia goes far beyond Chechnya and extends to abuses over the Yukos affair, the Russia-Georgia war in 2008 and violations of election laws aimed at opposition parties, including violating the constitutional right to participate in elections.
The Russian government loses about 90 percent of cases brought by citizens in the European court. Russia is by far the leader among the 47 members of the Council of Europe based on the number of cases filed. Since 2002, Russian citizens have flooded the council with more than 40,000 cases of human rights abuses, or 29 percent of the total. Turkey comes in a far second with just over 15,000 filed cases.
Even when Russian authorities pay compensation to victims as a result of European court decisions, this is like putting a Band-Aid over a malignant tumor. It does little to cure the underlying problem in Russia — that human rights continue to be systematically abused. The government has shown that it lacks the political will to change this.
Thus the conflict over the respect for human rights between Russia and the European court is fundamental and, most likely, will not be resolved. The Kremlin understands this better than anyone, and this is why Torshin and Constitutional Court chief justice Valery Zorkin have sent the first signal that Russia doesn’t want to subject itself to the European court’s jurisdiction anymore. They claim that the European court’s decisions are politically motivated — read: “Russophobic.” But this is only a smokescreen to hide the fact that Russia is Europe’s leader in violating the human rights of its citizens.
If the Kremlin continues to violate the human rights conventions that it ratified and refuses to implement the European court’s rulings, it will lead to a serious confrontation with the Council of Europe — after which Russia’s total exclusion from the council will become a real possibility.
Vladimir Ryzhkov, a State Duma deputy from 1993 to 2007, hosts a political talk show on Ekho Moskvy radio and is a co-founder of the opposition Party of People’s Freedom.
I wonder what else can Chechnya cure?
Lugovoi, like OJ Simpson, promises to find “the real culprits”:
Google’s and AFP’s illustration to this article is an excellent choice.
With a comment like “Lugovoi, like OJ Simpson, promises to find “the real culprits”: Watch this space folks, it will have to be good, because any sane person knows that in both cases the murderers were Lugovoi and OJ Simpson!
Rise of the Russian Orthodox Church
July 9, 2011
Moscow taxi-drivers claim that only three persons in the Russian capital would take no more than 15 minutes to ride from their country residences to the city centre, despite horrendous traffic jams: President Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Christian Orthodox Church.
It is only for these VIPs that traffic is stopped so that their stretch armoured limousines, escorted by SUVs with armed bodyguards, can speed through the emptied streets at 150 kmph.
The Patriarch’s bodyguards are from the Kremlin security services, provided free of charge, which is another thing that puts him in the company of the President and the Prime Minister. The church is separate from the state in Russia, the Constitution says. It also says there can be no state religion. But in reality, the Orthodox Church in post-Communist Russia is as much a pillar of the state as are the army, the police and the courts.
Notwithstanding the indifferent mood of most Russians, the Orthodox Church, with active state support, has effectively established itself as state religion. Its privileged status is illustrated by the new Kremlin tradition of a newly elected President receiving the blessings of the Patriarch.
Both Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev went through the ritual after they were sworn in. Accepting the gift of an icon from the Patriarch in May 2008, Mr. Medvedev crossed himself and said that it was through “joint efforts of the state and the Orthodox Church” that Russia had scaled new heights in its development. The ceremony looks like enthronement, not least because it takes place in the Kremlin’s oldest church, former family chapel of the Russian Tsars.
It is meant to lend greater legitimacy to the President, as the election process in Russia can hardly be called truly democratic or competitive.
The Church-state nexus has proved mutually beneficial. The Kremlin promotes the Church in order to fill an ideological and spiritual vacuum that the collapse of Communism left in its wake, while the Church uses state support to raise its profile and influence. The Kremlin finds useful the traditional orthodox values extolled by the Church — submission and deference to authority. It hopes that the Church can help control public protests against the massive impoverishment and glaring inequalities that market reforms have created in Russian society.
The Church is also a valuable instrument for projecting Russian interests abroad, as the Orthodox Churches of Georgia, Ukraine and Belarus are all parts of the Russian Patriarchate. In 2007, the Russian Orthodox Church reunited with its overseas sister Church ending an eight decades-long split and giving the Moscow Patriarchate a global reach.
Four years ago, a group of eminent scientists, including two Nobel Prize winners, addressed an open letter to President Putin voicing concern at the “growing clericalisation of the Russian society and aggressive penetration by the Church in all spheres of public life.” The tendency has only gathered momentum under Patriarch Kirill, who replaced the deceased Patriarch Alexei II in January 2009.
Russia’s most charismatic cleric, whose oratorical talent is known to millions of Russians through his long-running television show “Words of a Pastor,” Kirill, 65, has worked to dramatically enhance the power of the Church and strengthen its ties with the state. It was largely thanks to his influence that President Medvedev emerged as an even more ardent supporter of the Church than Mr. Putin. When he was still head of Mr. Putin’s Kremlin administration and chaired a presidential commission for religious affairs, Mr. Medvedev was instrumental in giving Orthodox theological schools the same status as secular universities. Last year, Mr. Medvedev signed a decree establishing a federal holiday, the “Day of the Baptism of Rus” when Kyiv Prince Volodymyr converted his people to Christianity in the 10th century.
There are now two officially recognised Orthodox holidays in Russia and there is none representing any other religion. Following the approval in December of a controversial law to restore to religious organisations property and assets seized by the state in Soviet times, the Orthodox Church looks set to become the biggest real estate owner in the country, which is what it was before the 1917 revolution. Critics say this is the price the Kremlin is ready to pay the Church for its political support and ideological cover. The law has appalled museums and archives as many will have to vacate their premises in former church buildings and surrender religious artefacts. Art experts point out that Russia may lose priceless icons by Andrei Rublev and other medieval painters because churches lack proper conditions and specialised personnel to preserve ancient items.
Mr. Medvedev has also backed the Church in its long-standing demand to have “Orthodox culture” classes opened in schools. In some regions, the classes are optional but at least in five provinces they are mandatory. This has invited protests from parents belonging to other religious groups.
The Defence Ministry announced earlier this week that “on the instructions of the President,” it will establish a military chaplain corps by the end of the year and will train chaplains at one of its military schools.
The current position of the Church is often compared with pre-1917 revolution time, when Orthodoxy was the official religion of the Russian state. The one big difference though is that in imperial Russia, the Church was subservient to the state with the Tsar being the formal head of both, whereas today the Church is the most powerful non-state actor.
Addressing the Council of Russian Orthodox Bishops in February, Patriarch Kirill called for the active involvement of the Church in all spheres of public life. The Council went as far as to authorise priests to participate in elections to local and federal legislatures, even if only in exceptional cases, “to oppose forces … that attempt to use the vote to fight the Orthodox Church.”
In contrast to his predecessor Alexei II who was mainly concerned with religious affairs, Patriarch Kirill has established himself as a political figure who passes his verdict on everything from a multipolar world to new regulations for technical inspection of motor vehicles. He has consistently entered the list of top 10 most influential Russian politicians compiled by the Russian expert community and is the only non-government official. Some experts have even suggested that the Medvedev-Putin duumvirate is gradually transforming into a triumvirate with Patriarch Kirill.
“Patriarch Kirill is an absolutely independent political figure who is worthy and capable of leading the country,” says political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky. “The only question is when he may be called upon to do this duty.”
Flashing lights on his car and Kremlin bodyguards may be an acknowledgement of Patriarch Kirill’s new role.
Notwithstanding the indifference of most Russians, the Orthodox Church, with active support from the state, has effectively established itself as state religion.
Russia says 128 may be dead in Volga River accident
Today at 16:13 | Reuters
KAZAN, Russia, July 11 (Reuters) – Russia said there was little hope of finding any more people alive on Monday after an overloaded tourist boat sank in the Volga River, killing as many as 128 people in Russia’s worst river accident in three decades.
Medvedev told a hastily convened meeting of senior ministers at his Gorki residence outside Moscow:
“The number of old rust tubs which we have sailing is exorbitant.”