EDITORIAL: Vladimir Putin, Exposed

EDITORIAL

Vladimir Putin, Exposed

On July 5th, Pravda was fuming.

It had just learned that the Netherlands had issued a blacklist against numerous Russian officials who were believed to be complicit in the torture and murder of attorney Sergei Magnitsky, who had leveled sweeping charges of corruption at the Kremlin and the been arrested.

But that was only the beginning of Vladimir Putin’s troubles.

He was humiliated when Germany was forced by vociferous international pressure to withdraw its nomination of Putin for the Quadriga prize.

And then he was humiliated further when two leading oligarchs, Alexander Lebedev and Mikhail Prokhorov, launched devastating public criticisms of his regime.  Lebedev said Putin had Russia on track to become the next Zimbabwe, with Putin as Mugabe, while Prokhorov said that he preferred to analogize Putin to Mubarek and Putin’s Russia to Egypt.  Mikhail Gorbachev piled on, confirming Russia is turning into Africa under Putin’s leadership.

Still worse lay in store, though.

When the dust cleared after the sinking of the Volga cruise ship Bulgaria, it began to seem that comparing Putin’s Russia to Zimbabwe or Egypt was a really unfair insult . . . to Zimbabwe and Egypt.

Just a month earlier, a governmental inspector had signed off on the seaworthiness of the vessel, no doubt with the help of a large bribe.

Of the passengers on the Bulgaria, 80 percent of the men, 32 percent of the children, and 26 percent of the women survived.  In other countries it’s woman and children first, but not in Russia.

Speaking of children, two thirds had the same birth date: Dec. 30, 1999. That’s because the boat operator waived them aboard without documents and filled in required information at random.

Sixty percent of the passengers on board the vessel perished, many because not one but two different Russian passenger vessels sailed right by them without stopping to help.

This is Vladimir Putin, and this is Putin’s Russia. It is pain, it is failure, and it is so very predictable from a proud KGB spy who knows nothing but how to lie and kill.  Russians have elected this man, Russians support him, and so they deserve their fate.

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14 responses to “EDITORIAL: Vladimir Putin, Exposed

  1. It was not “Germany”, it was some Germans (a pivate award). Actually, a large part of the pressure was from the German government and opposition alike.

  2. I should’ve… wait, I DID expect this from you, LR. You’re hailing and praising the cancellation of an independent prize organization by outcry from some kind of governments. I don’t know about you, but to me, this sounds quite a bit authoritarian, no? Shouldn’t the kids at Quadriga decide who THEY want to give the prize to, I mean it’s their prize, no?
    This is such utter bullshit, I’m astonished that these people canceled the ENTIRE year’s prize just because of some idiots whining with their “public outcry” piss. The bias is so damn evident only a child couldn’t see it!

    • What’s so authoritarian about this decision to withdraw the prize? Certainly, this Quadriga is private and maybe independent, and has a right to award this prize to whoever it chooses; it’s their as we say in America First Amendment right, i.e., an exercise of free speech. However, other persons and organizations also have their First Amendment right to protest this decision, to denounce Quadriga and to boycott it. That’s what public debate is supposed to be about. Where is the bias? If they had decided to give this prize to Pol Pot (if he were still alive), and human rights advocates would have picketed Quadriga’s headquarters around the clock in response, would you also find bias in that?

      It would be different if Germany passed a law making the award to Putin illegal, or threatened the management of Quadriga with some kind of criminal or civil action, etc. But as far as I know, nothing like that happened.

      • “However, other persons and organizations also have their First Amendment right to protest this decision, to denounce Quadriga”

        Yes of course

        “and to boycott it”

        No, that’s some more bull. Thats the exact same thing as Germany “passing a law making the award to Putin illegal” it’s just by different means: the action is by the same beholder, and the end is the same as well.
        Picture this: The (lets use our imagination here) Preobrozhensky prize is given by the Moscow patriarchate to George W Bush, for his heroic leadership in checking fundamentalist islamist influence. “Public outcry” from Russia, sees the award, who’s decision was previously televised, and “protests” against it. Then suddenly, the prize is withdrawn for the whole year, and the four other prizes that were supposed to be awarded, are also canceled. Do you honestly think LR wouldn’t be here screaming that the oppressive regime of a proud KGB spy had silenced the voice of all that was left of the honesty and legitimacy in his pitiful, cold gulag?

    • The German government (not “some kind of governments”), but also the opposition (including the co-chairman of the Green party, Özdemir, who resigned from the award’s board in protest).

      And the German human-rights NGOs (including the local branches of HRW and Memorial). And the German media (and foreign media, non-Russian).

      Btw, Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia (Wikipedia got the prize in 2008) and director of Wikipedia Foundation, also stepped down from Quadriga board in protest.

      And, not the least, the previous laureates, who have threatened to return the prize (Eliasson and Havel). “Some idiots” of yours, I guess?

      • On July 12, the leader of the German Green party Cem Oezdemir resigned from the board of trustees of Germany’s Quadriga fund. Oezdemir was one of the first public figures to protest Quadriga’s plan to give an award to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Eventually, after a wave of protests in Germany, the 2011 Quadriga award ceremony was canceled. The humiliation for Putin and Russia was made even worse since Quadriga announced the cancellation of the award ceremony just one day before the Petersburg Dialogue, a high-profile German-Russian forum that took place in Germany (http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,15249959,00.html). The Circassian analyst Sufian Zhemukhov argued that German Green party Co-Chairman Cem Oezdemir acted not according to the logic of German-Russian relations, but as a Circassian politician: “Bearing in mind his Circassian origin, it is easy to understand why he voted against [the award to Putin]. Quadriga is an award to commemorate the unification of Germany and the German nation. As a Circassian, Oezdemir voted against awarding the Russian side because he assumed that the Russians were preventing the unification of his people” (http://echo.msk.ru, July 21).

        The Circassians historically inhabited the whole northwestern Caucasus, including the Black Sea coast. During the Russian conquest of the Caucasus in the nineteenth Century, the Circassians were exterminated and deported from their homeland to the Ottoman Empire on a mass scale. An estimated 90 percent of the Circassian population was killed, died of artificially imposed hardships or were sent into exile. After Moscow won the right to hold the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, which was once Circassian land, the Circassian diasporas worldwide and in the North Caucasus started to campaign to attract the world’s attention to their plight. One of the principal demands of the Circassians is for Moscow to affirm the right of the exiles’ descendants to return to their historic homeland in the North Caucasus. So far, the Russian government has been very reluctant to allow any sizable immigration of the Circassians. According to Zhemukhov, the Circassian cause may now acquire a leader in the person of Cem Oezdemir, who could potentially unite different groups of Circassians to advocate for their rights more effectively.

  3. Austria also supports Putin – they released Mikhail Golovatov, the subject of an european arrest warrent, after less than 24 hours. Golovatov for those who do not know is suspected of being in command of the attack on the TV centre in Vilnius in January 1991 during which 14 unarmed civilians were murdered and over 1,000 injured. Golovatov was allowed to fly hom to Moscow! Shame on Austria – Now we know who Austria’s paymasters are!

    • One has to remember that A. Hitler was actually Austrian. Hence them releasing that Russian murderer is just child’s play.

      So what’s new about Austria.

    • Austria has not yet explained fully why it let Mr Golovatov go so quickly. Austrian papers describe the incident as a “disgrace” (link in German). Lithuania insists it followed procedure exactly. The episode will stoke suspicions in the ex-communist region of Austria’s Kremlin-friendly approach, epitomised by its discreet and flexible banks and the scandalous failure to protect a fugitive Chechen, Umar Israilov, who was gunned down in broad daylight on the streets of Vienna by hired assassins. Others may wonder if Lithuania’s go-it-alone foreign policy has lessened its chances of making a successful fuss in European institutions over the issue.
      http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2011/07/lithuania

      Btw, General Golatov is now heading an international private security contractor (read: modern mercenary) group, named Alpha B, because why not (named obviously after his previous job as the chief of the KGB “counter-terrorist” death squad Alpha), staffed with his former comrades and fellow-criminals.

  4. Pingback: Vladimir Putin, Exposed | La Russophobe | 1913 Intel

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