Daily Archives: August 11, 2011

August 12, 2011 — Contents

FRIDAY AUGUST 12 CONTENTS

(1)  EDITORIAL:  Obama the Traitor

(2) EDITORIAL:  Another Russian Stock Market Crash

(3) EDITORIAL:  Ukraine off the Reservation

(4)  Russia was the Aggressor in Ossetia

(5)  Russians are Big Losers Under Putin

(6)  Moscow is Hell on Earth for Shoppers

(7)  A Russian Catastrophe in Carlesbad

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EDITORIAL: Barack Obama, Traitor to his Country

EDITORIAL

Barack Obama, Traitor to his Country

On August 2, 2011, ITAR-TASS published an interview between its CEO Mikhail Gusman, appointed to his job by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin because ITAR-TASS is the Kremlin’s official newswire mouthpiece, and U.S. President Barack Obama.

In it, Obama stated:

I think it’s important for us to look back over the last two years and see the enormous progress we’ve made. I started talking about reset when I was still a candidate for President, and immediately reached out to President Medvedev as soon as I was elected. And we have been I think extraordinarily successful partners in moving towards reset.

Reading this statement, there is only one conclusion that a thoughtful, well-informed Russia watcher can come to: Obama is a liar and a traitor to his country who must be immediately impeached and removed from office.

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EDITORIAL: The Dog Days of August for the Russian Stock Market

EDITORIAL

The Dog Days of August for the Russian Stock Market

The Dog Days of Russian August put the Bite on the Russian Stock Market

August is historically a nasty month for Russia.  And true to form, in the first ten days of the month this year, the Russian stock market lost a truly breathtaking 20% of its value, plunging from 2000 to 1600 on the dollar-denominated RTS index.  The losses were actually far worse than they appeared, because the Kremlin had been feverishly pumping Russia’s precious reserves into the market to artificially inflate demand and limit the damage.

But even worse than the numbers was the reason for them.  Julian Rimmer, a broker in Russian shares at CF Global Trading in London, explained:  “Russia is entirely hostage to external factors. The only thing which can arrest the decline would be some form of concerted — and simultaneous — central bank policy response. The perceived lethargy and lack of unanimity is extremely damaging.”

“Entirely hostage.”  Ouch.  “Lethargy.”  Double ouch. Nice work there, Mr. Putin!

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EDITORIAL: Ukraine, off the Reservation

EDITORIAL

Ukraine, off the Reservation

Victor Yanukovich

What we are witnessing these days in Ukraine is truly one of the most astounding developments in the modern history of the region.

When Victor Yanukovich was elected president of Ukraine in February 2010 over rival Yulia Tymoshenko, many Russophiles may have thought it was a big win for Russia.  But recent events indicate it may become one of Russia’s biggest nightmares.

On the surface, Yanukovich’s sensational arrest and prosecution of Tymoshenko following his election may have seemed like an aggressive move to silence a tough critic of the Moscow Kremlin.  Looking deeper, however, it’s anything but that.

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Get it Straight: Russia was the Aggressor Against Georgia in 2008

In a truly epic act of personal and professional courage, hero journalist Yulia Latynina sides with Georgia against Russia in the 2008 war, telling it like it is for all to see regardless of the consequences, in the mighty pages of the Moscow Times:

There are two versions of how World War II started. The first is that the Polish military attacked a German radio station in Gleiwitz. The second is that Adolf Hitler’s army invaded Poland.

Similarly, there are two versions of how the Russia-Georgia war began in August 2008.

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Russians: We are More Corrupt, and Hopelessly Sick, under Putin

Marc Bennetts, writing on RIA Novosti, points out that a majority of Russians now believe their country is more corrupt under Vladimir Putin than it was under Yeltsin, and one member of the Russian Duma believes the country is “seriously sick and may already be untreatable.”

The recent brutal slaying of a family of five – including three small children – in a provincial town near Moscow was enough to shock even Russia, a country with some of the highest murder rates in the world, and led a parliamentarian to suggest the killings were a sign that the country was “sick.” Perhaps incurably so.

The bodies of the 35-year-old woman, her three boys aged four, five and nine, and their grandmother were found stacked up in a bathroom in an apartment in Tula, some 200 kilometers from Moscow, late on August 1.

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Moscow’s Hell on Earth for Shoppers, Tourists, Everyone

Briton in Russia Clare Taylor, blogging at the Moscow Times, explains what it’s like to face the Russian retail establishment, which is in no significant way different from what it was in Soviet times. It sees customers as an annoying problem and it is not equipped or interested enough to deal with them properly.  This is why Russian can’t compete in international markets and can’t attract a large number of tourists.  (FYI, children don’t have the experience to know when shoes fit properly, and therefore can’t help parents when seeking to determine if they do. That’s why careful parents want their kids’ feet measured when buying new shoes.)

Back in May, my sons were in need of new shoes, and, I must admit, I had been putting it off. I was hoping against hope that the canvas sneakers I picked up for them in London on a solo trip over there in April would stay the course until our summer break when we would be back in the land of less expensive and — crucially — expertly fitted footwear. What’s that you say? Muscovite children wear shoes, too, and amazingly, they even fit? That fact is obviously true, but based on our experiences shoe shopping in Moscow, for the life of me I can’t work out how.

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