We Told you So
On September 28, 2011, a perfect metaphor for the horror that is Vladimir Putin’s Russia appeared in The Independent, which has over the years been responsible for some of the toughest and most insightful reporting on Russia (hat tip: Streetwise Professor).
The paper wrote about how thousands upon thousands of stray dogs roam the streets of Moscow, how they have killed Muscovites in packs and how they pose all manner of serious health concerns, to say nothing of betraying Russia’s eternal poverty regardless of the propaganda the state may churn out. Yet Russians, idiots that they are, are fighting to keep these dogs on the streets, and do what they can to care for them.
Similarly Josef Stalin is beloved by Russians, even though he murdered more of them than any other person who ever lived.
And similarly, the proud KGB spy and murderer of Starovoitova, of Litvinenko, of Politikovskaya, of Yushenkov, of Shchekochikhin, of Girenko, of Klebnikov, of Kozlov, of Estemirova, of Markelov and of so very many others, known as Vladimir Putin, is being embraced as he declares himself president for life. Lenin, Stalin, Putin.
On April 2, 2006, we warned the world that it would be so.
Estonia Whips Russian Butt
Reader “Robert” directs us to a BBC web page which compares the performance of the nations in post-Soviet space on economics, health and democracy. It provides three charts which reveal shocking facts about the failure of Putin’s resource-rich Russia when compared with tiny Estonia, the leader of the group.
First comes economics, which reveals not one but three stunning insights about Russia:
The Russian Economy is Collapsing
In 2008, nearly $130 billion flew out of Russia, erasing the modicum of inflows registered in 2006 and 2007. For its size, Russia as an investment destination pales in comparison to South Korea. Total equity portfolio inflow into Russia in 2009 was just $3.4 billion, according to World Bank data, making it the lowest of the big emerging markets by far. India, China and Brazil all registered inflows over $20 billion. A recent opinion poll by the Levada Centre shows that 22% of Russia’s adult population would like to leave the country for good, up from 7% in 2007. It is the highest figure since the collapse of the Soviet Union, when only 18% said they wanted to get out. Over 50% of Russian entrepreneurs said that they wanted leave the country. “From a macro perspective, I don’t want to be in Russia,” says Justin Leverenz, emerging markets portfolio manager at Oppenheimer Funds in New York. “From an investor’s point of view, Russian politics are far beyond what I’m able to analyze.”
Believe it or not, those words appear in a recent article in which the author is trying to put a positive spin on Russia. Can you imagine what Russia’s economic critics are saying these days?
Drunken Russian Killers
When a TU-134 jet went down in Petrozavodsk, Russia on June 20th this year, some people (the Russian government included) wanted to blame the aging plane itself. Now, they own the poor plane an apology.
The 47 Russians who lost their lives on that flight were not killed by the plane, nor were they killed by any “evil” Chechen terrorist. They were killed by a fellow Russian, the navigator of the plane Aman Atayev. He was drunk at the wheel.
So even if the passengers had been flying in a brand new Boeing aircraft made in America with the latest technology, they still would not have been safe. Atayev’s mother says he turned to drinking as a result of his recent divorce, yet another omnipresent Russian social ill. She says so as if he were somehow the innocent victim of that divorce, but in fact one Russian man murders his wife every forty minutes, so it’s quite likely he brutalized his wife emotionally or physically or both, and that’s why she left him.
Does Britain still Remember Chamberlain?
Simon Tisdall, a columnist for The Guardian in Britain, says Russians think of British Prime Minister David Cameron a “useful idiot” who offers the KGB regime of Vladimir Putin “de facto, unthinking legitimization.”
Tony Brenton, Britain’s ambassador to Russia from 2004 through 2008, says that “Russia’s ruling elite has become immovable and predatory, elections are fixed, corruption is on a par with Nigeria, the legal system is pliable, and the police and security agencies untouchable.” He says its government is a sham: “While Dmitri Medvedev enjoys the title of president, Vladimir Putin continues to call the real shots.”
But despite that, the British idiot-in-chief recently traveled to Moscow and inked hundreds of millions in trade deals in exchange for ignoring Russian human rights atrocities and the murder of Alexander Litvinenko in London.
Vladimir Putin, on the Take
We recently published a Special Extra post which contained a translation of an item from the Russian web. In it, a Russian website interviewed a high-ranking Russian corruption investigator who revealed shocking details about his investigation of Vladimir Putin for personal corruption while Putin was serving in the government of St. Petersburg.
In an almost casual fashion, as if it were obvious to everyone, the investigator reveals that Putin had both hands in the cookie jar of budget revenues in Piter. And, of course, to any human with a brain it is obvious. How else would Putin be able to afford to sport expensive watches and live in a network of palaces that span the globe? And if Putin were not personally corrupt, how could corruption flourish so openly in Russia, so that Transparency International routinely finds Russia to be the single most corrupt major civilization on this planet?
The fact that Putin’s personal corruption is so well documented, even in Russia itself, just goes to prove that Russians approve of it, just as they approve of Putin’s brutal crackdown on democratic values, including his brazen murder of political opponents like Starovoitova, Politkovskaya, Estemirova and Markelov. Indeed, we recently reported on the fact that a new arrest in the Politkovskaya case clearly shows the involvement of high-level Russian law enforcement in her killing.
Why now, Mr. Medvedev, why now?
Last week any intelligent Russian citizen had just one question in response to a pair of orders emanating from their so-called “president”: Why now, Mr. Medvedev, why now?
First, in response to the crash of an airliner that killed an entire Russian professional ice hockey team, Medvedev ordered the airline shut down. But intelligent Russians were asking: Why didn’t you shut them down before the crash, Mr. Medvedev? Why did you wait so long?
Then, in response to growing civil unrest, Medvedev authorized the Russian Gestapo to utilize water cannons, tasers and tear gas on peaceful opposition protesters who fail to disperse upon the illegal order of the authorities. Intelligent Russian citizens were asking: Why now, Mr. Medvedev?
The New Warsaw Pact
It’s not clear whether Barack Obama doesn’t know who Nikolai Bordyuzha is or doesn’t care and that’s disturbing, because Bordyuzha is the proud KGB spy who is the spokesman for the new Warsaw Pact.
The constituents of this terrifying group (here is a photo of their assembled foreign ministers, a true rogue’s gallery), known as the Collective Security Treaty Organization, are Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Belarus and Armenia. There used to be nine members, but Georgia and Azerbaijan both bailed out in 1999, leaving seven. Bordyuzha, a Russian KGB officer, is the General Secretary.
The ragtag assembly of nations that comprise the CSTO include the worst dictatorships of post-Soviet space, and the organization’s charter is essentially the same as that of the Warsaw Pact: mutual defense from the horrific dangers posed by the forces of democracy.
And just as was the case with the Warsaw Pact, the CSTO is rapidly turning into a mutual aid society for the repression of domestic dissent.
Last week Lt. Col. Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov was arrested in Moscow and charged with masterminding the murder of hero journalist Anna Politkovskaya. At the time he did so, Pavlyuchenkov was head of surveillance at Moscow’s Main Internal Affairs Directorate, the city’s main police force. At long last, in other words, the world has learned that it was not some rogue elements from Chechnya, acting on the orders of Ramzan Kadyrov, who liquidated Politkovskaya.
It was the Moscow Kremlin.
FPS Russia vs. Russia Today
FPS Russia is a guy in Georgia named Kyle who shoots things with automatic weapons in his back yard and then blows them up. Meanwhile, he talks about it in English with a fake Russian accent and refers to himself as “Dmitri.”
Russia Today is an official state-funded propaganda television network which employs hundreds of people and spends hundreds of millions of Russian tax dollars on production and advertising. They talk with weird, stilted accents in English, too.
Both FPSR and RT have YouTube channels to display their handiwork. Comparing their performance is interesting.
The Catastrophic Failure of Russian Aerospace
Russia’s aerospace program appears to be collapsing.
The latest series of horrifying incidents began in June with the crash of a TU-134 airliner while attempting to land near Petrozavodsk, killing all of its nearly four dozen passengers. The government was forced to order the entire model out of service.
Days later, a MiG-29 fighter jet crashed inexplicably, and the government was left with no choice but to order that model out of service too, even though Russia had just inked a larger sale of the model to India.
Then, in an epic humiliation, when Russia rolled out its version of the F-22 Stealth Raptor during its annual international air show an engine collapsed during takeoff and the plane could not get airborn.
Next, a swarm of bees attacked a Moscow-bound Boeing 757, from the inside.
And most recently, an entire Russian ice hockey team was wiped out in a horrific crash near the city of Yaroslavl on the Volga.
Meanwhile, objects even higher up began dropping out of the sky.
The Brutality of “Normal Life” in Vladimir Putin’s Russia
In our issue today we republish two stories about ordinary life in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. One story involves an adventure with an elevator, the other with childbirth. They are absolutely required reading for anyone who is interested in understanding what is going on in Russia today.
Anyone who has spent any time living a real life in Putin’s Russia will instantly recognize the truth and the horror reflected in these stories. And nobody who has not lived in Russia can truly appreciate how awful it is to experience so-called “life” of this kind up close and personal. This is what it means to live in a neo-Soviet state ruled by a proud KGB spy. It sucks.
But let’s be perfectly clear: The people of Russia are not the innocent victims of this type of horror. To the contrary, their reckless and irresponsible behavior is the root cause of it.
Ukraine Declares War on Russia
Ukraine has got the message.
Kommersant reports (English synopsis) that the Ukrainian government has embarked upon a massive and ambitious plan to develop and exploit domestic shale gas resources, thereby reducing its dependence on Russia by a factor of three. Not long after that, Ukraine was issuing bellicose threats to Russia and harshly snubbing the Putin regime.
The reason for this action is obvious: Ukrainians don’t trust Russians any more than Georgians do. Slowly but surely, the malignant Putin regime is managing to spoil every one of Russia’s geopolitical relationships in post-Soviet space.
Russia, Nation of Sociopaths
The news out of Russia on August 20, 2011, was truly nauseating.
Russia stood alone to support mass-murdering Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad while the rest of the world condemned his latest blood orgy. Russia even went so far as to seek to fan the flames of Arab nationalism across the region.
It invited mass-murdering North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il Kim Jong Il for a friendly visit.
It loaned billions to mass-murdering Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez so he could buy even more weapons.
And it ratcheted up its foreign policy initiatives to assist the mass-murdering dictator of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
And remember: That’s just one day in the life of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, an nation of sociopaths that takes pride and pleasure in joining forces with the world’s worst maniacs and which has chosen to be ruled by a proud KGB spy, a representative of the worst mass-murdering group of psychopaths ever to tread the earth.
Here Come the Russian Rapists
Russia and its Real Men
Russians are fond of working themselves up in to a state of high outrage whenever they hear stories about Russians being abused in foreign lands (like the recent incident in which a Russian adoptee was made to drink hot sauce
by his new mother, or the incident where a mother returned her adopted child to Russia).
But good luck getting Russians to manage as much as a yawn when they learn about shocking acts of abuse by Russians against foreigners — that is, if state-sponsored Russian media even report such incidents at all, which they usually do not.
Take for instance the brutal gang-rape of a young Malaysian student at Bellerbys College in London, where tuition is £30,000 ($50,000) a year. The wolf pack of four Russian students who drugged and then attacked her over the course of more than two hours, filming the savage assault with a cell phone and “celebrating like footballers” as they mauled the helpless fellow student, showed “callous disregard for (the victim) as a human being and a callous disregard for her as anything other than an object” according to the judge who sentenced them to prison in Woolwich Crown Court.
Mickey Mouse, Banned in Russia
In 1995 the Russian artist Alexander Savko painted a series of images interposing the face of Mickey Mouse onto famous historical scenes, like the one above.
Last week, a Russian court determined that Savko’s image of the Sermon on the Mount with Mickey Mouse (shown after the jump) was “extremist” and illegal and banned it from public display.
Sacrilege at Seliger
Vladmir Putin is no stranger to hypocrisy. For example, though calling the USA a “parasite” whose economy is not based on productivity and which therefore is unreliable and harmful, under Putin Russian investment in the US economy has increased by a stunning one thousand six hundred percent.
Putin deals with hypocrisy of this kind they way Soviet rulers like him always have: He lies to his people, seeking to cultivate a nation of thoughtless automatons who can do nothing but worship at his feet. It all begin with the youngest, at summer camp, the way it always did in the USSR.
In the photo above, two participants in the Kremlin’s Hitler-Jugend variant, Camp Seliger (one with a bra with eyes drawn on the outside of her t-shirt) walk past a billboard showing the faces of Dmitri Medvedev and Vladimir Putin weirdly fused into a single person, with the explanation “they are interchangeable.”
Elsewhere at the installation, campers walk by a row of photographs of Garry Kasparov, Mikhail Kasyanov, Boris Nemtsov, Eduard Limonov and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, under the banner: “Losers of the Year.”
Russia in the WTO? Just say NO!
Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) was another of Yeltsin’s ideas – and with much the same purpose. If implemented, that idea would make Russia dependent on imports of foodstuffs and just about everything else the exporting countries would like to sell against their Russian rivals, after the latter were to give up their competitive price advantages, such as cheap energy, cheap land, cheap transportation, cheap fertilizer, etc. So, if Russia were a democracy, the WTO terms of accession for Russia – now 18 years in the negotiation – wouldn’t have a chance of acceptance.
We are not shy about saying that we want to see Vladimir Putin’s police state in Russia utterly destroyed. Nor do we disagree with the brilliant John Helmer’s analysis, quoted above, which concludes that admission to the WTO would be extremely harmful, if not a fatal toxin, to the Putin regime. But we still vehemently oppose Russian admission.
Putin Spits on Russia
The most outrageous and repulsive feature of the USSR was its brazen, naked contempt for its own citizens. It tortured and murdered them with reckless abandon and it lied to them as if they were idiotic children. Proud KGB spy Vladimir Putin, a decrepit relic of the USSR, is continuing that tradition with relish.
Oops!!! Oops II!!!
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.
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!
Ukraine, off the Reservation
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.
The Wheels come Off the Putin Regime
Four stunning recent events showed how the wheels are coming off the dictatorial regime of Vladimir Putin.
First, Putin was humiliated by being denied Germany’s annual Quadriga award after international pressure forced the Germans to publicly withdraw it.
Then, a new public opinion poll revealed that Putin is becoming just as unpopular at home as he is abroad.
Then it got much worse.