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.
Lebedev Goes Down
Lebedev goes Down
Recent days have seen a disturbing trend as oligarch after oligarch bows and scrapes before Vladimir Putin (so-called “president” Dima Medvedev did the same in his recent press conference). By the far the most ominous of these has been Alexander Lebedev.
Lebedev is the publisher of Novaya Gazeta, by far Russia’s most important source of information about the Putin regime. He openly admits that he has been receiving relentless pressure from the KGB on his banking business, and that he has decided to side with Putin rather than become a jailed pauper like Mikkhail Khodorkovsky. The tycoon posted a statement on his website stating that his “Our Capital” movement had decided to join the All-Russia People’s Front created by Putin earlier this month.
Posted in editorial, journalism, journalists, neo-soviet crackdown, russia
Tagged Alexander Lebedev, dmitry medvedev, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, novaya gazeta, russia, vladimir putin
Maybe Russia’s best PR move would be to change its name. “Zaire” is free, isn’t it? Right Side News reports:
A closer look at the Moscow-funded Russia Today television channel, whose host, American Adam Kokesh, was arrested after a disruption last Saturday at the Jefferson Memorial, reveals some interesting and disturbing corporate and foreign intelligence connections.·
As AIM reported, Kokesh, who hosts the show, “Adam Vs. The Man,” joined with pro-Marxist agitator Medea Benjamin to disrupt Memorial Day weekend activities. “I had to spend 4 hours in jail,” whined Kokesh. Now he is threatening to do it again this coming Saturday.
Under pressure from false media reports that Kokesh was just “dancing” and had been unfairly roughed up by police, U.S. Park Police officials are now saying that they are investigating whether officers were “too aggressive” in handling Kokesh and other demonstrators.
Clifford J. Levy (pictured, left) of the New York Times and his colleague Ellen Barry have been awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting on account of their “dogged reporting that put a human face on the faltering justice system in Russia, remarkably influencing the discussion inside the country.”
We heartily congratulate Mr. Levy, Ms. Barry and the New York Times for this tremendous accomplishment on behalf of Russophobia and the battle to turn back the self-destructive impulses of the Russian people and save their children from obliteration.
The Russian Hallucination
Russia’s most valuable company, Gazprom, has a market capitalization about $150 billion. That seems impressive, until you know that Exxon, America’s most valuable company, has a market capitalization more than double that of Gazprom.
Flip your perspective, and you see something even more amazing. Gazprom’s value constitutes more than ten percent of the total gross domestic product of Russia. Exxon’s value? It’s less than two percent of America’s GDP.
In other words, because the American economy is ten times larger than Russia’s, Exxon can fail and America will go merrily on, almost oblivious. But if Gazprom fails, Russia crashes into poverty and absolute collapse. And competing head to head in Russia’s area of greatest strength, America still wins hands down, in dominating fashion.
How is it, then, that Russians dare to continue to adopt such a provocative and hostile attitude towards the USA?
The brilliant Vladimir Kara-Murza reports:
If one were to name a particular date when Russia’s nascent democracy succumbed to Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian regime, April 14, 2001 would be a fairly good contender. Ten years ago the Russian government, using the state-owned energy giant Gazprom as its proxy, seized control of NTV—the country’s largest and most popular independent television channel. There were, of course, other significant dates: June 22, 2003 (the government-ordered shutdown of TVS, Russia’s last independent television channel), October 25, 2003 (the arrest of oil tycoon and opposition supporter Mikhail Khodorkovsky), December 7, 2003 (the expulsion of pro-democracy parties from Parliament in heavily manipulated elections), December 12, 2004 (the abolition of direct gubernatorial elections—ironically, signed into law by Mr. Putin on Constitution Day). But it was the takeover of NTV that was, in many ways, the point of no return.
Russia, Land of Bandits
The image above shows the dictator of Libya and the dictator of Russia flying in attack aircraft to bomb their own populations in to submission, with the Russian using a computer attack rather than an explosive. It is the work of the genius Russian cartoonist Sergei Yelkin, better known as Ellustrator, an refers to a recent massive cyber attack on the Live Journal blogging network in Russia which shut down the entire service for the better part of a day (even the blog of so-called Russian “president” Dima Medvedev was affected — interestingly, Vladimir Putin is not a blogger and was left unscathed). A few days later a massive attack was launched on the website of Novaya Gazeta, Russia’s leading opposition newspaper. Both Anton Nosik and Alexei Navalny, the two titans of the Russian blogosphere, made it clear that the Putin Kremlin was to blame, in preparation for the rigging of the next presidential “elections.”
British diplomat Tony Brenton reveals the true horror of life in Vladimir Putin’s neo-Soviet state in the Daily Mail:
Should you get home to find the door to your flat unlocked from the inside, that’s just the FSB (the KGB’s successor) letting you know they called. If you pick up the phone to hear your voice played back, as I have, someone is recording your conversations. Such was my life in Russia during my time as a senior official and then as British Ambassador from 2004 to 2008.
Long Live Luke Harding
On December 1, 2010, Luke Harding, Russia correspondent for the Guardian newspaper, published a story based on leaked confidential government documents which concluded that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin approved the murder of dissident KGB defector Alexander Litvinenko.
Six weeks later, the very next time Harding tried to enter Russia, his visa was revoked and he was sent back home. More than three dozen foreign journalists have been refused entry to Russia since Vladimir Putin came to power and many others, like Paul Klebnikov of Forbes, have been murdered outright.
But it’s pretty hard to think of a single pro-Kremlin journalist who has been arrested or exiled or murdered by the Putin Kremlin, isn’t it?
Posted in editorial, iron curtain, journalism, journalists, neo-soviet crackdown, russia
Tagged Alexander Litvinenko, KGB, luke harding, moscow times, Paul Klebnikov, russia, The Guardian, vladimir putin, Walter Duranty
Parfyonov vs. Putin, the Smackdown
One of the most remarkable events in Russian history occurred in November 2010, but you can be forgiven if you missed it. State-sponsored Russian television did not think it worthy of mentioning.
The event was an acceptance speech by Leonid Parfyonov to a black-tie audience at a ceremony where was presented with the first Listyev Prize from state-sponsored Channel One television, in honour of Vladislav Listyev, a Russian journalist who was murdered in 1995 in Moscow. Thankfully, it survives on YouTube, with subtitles. Parfyonov blogs in Russian on LiveJournal.
Little did the Kremlin realize what it was in for when it authorized Parfyonov to receive this award!
Russia is Snob Nation
A recent item in the New Yorker magazine reveals Russia descending to yet another new low. It discusses the latest venture of the Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov, who has chosen to invest vast sums in American, rather than Russian, professional basketball. It is a magazine called Snob that the New Yorker describes as looking “like a cross between Tatler and The New York Review of Books, printed on the kind of paper stock usually reserved for royal invitations” with “an alarming cover price of eight dollars.” The New Yorker attended its opening night in New York City, and described it as follows:
Posted in arts/letters, editorial, journalism, journalists, russia, russian people
Tagged Alexander Melamid, Aliona Doletskaya, Mikhail Prokhorov, Nicole Kidman, russia, Vitaly Komar
Masha Gessen, newly installed as an editor at Snob magazine, blogging at Reuters:
“Are you scared?” someone asked me during a talk in New York last Friday night.
I always get that question. I am a journalist working in Russia, where 19 murders of journalists remain unsolved. Russia ranks eighth in the Impunity Index compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists — the only European country on the list, it is wedged between Nepal and Mexico.
People may be forgiven that being scared is an occupational hazard for me.
So I gave my stock answer: “No, I am not scared,” I said. “I have been at times, but right now I don’t seem to be doing anything particularly dangerous.” This is true.
Again, Obama shows Yellow on Russia
“It is no secret that the movement that called for Kashin to be punished is financed and directed by the presidential administration.”
–Victor Davidoff, writing in the Moscow Times in an article entitled “Goebbels’ Guide to Russia“
It may not be a secret, Mr. Davidoff, but nonetheless there is no sign that the Obama administration knows it. If they do, they are evil bastards and ought to be impeached.
Here is the statement of the Obama State Department on the brutal attack on Russian journalist Oleg Kashin, brutally attacked just days after being openly threatened on the website of a youth cult that is bought and paid for the by the Putin Kremlin:
In Russia, the United States condemns the attack on Kommersant journalist Oleg Kashin and calls on Russian authorities to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice. Freedom of the press is a fundamental right in the United States and other countries, and we are committed to uphold the international and regional commitments. As the 2009 Humanitarian Rights Report noted, eight journalists, many of whom reported critically on the government, were killed over the last year in Russia. With one exception, the government has failed to identify, arrest, or prosecute any suspects. A free and independent press is central to a vibrant and well-functioning democracy. Journalists around the world must feel free to do their jobs without fear of intimidation or physical violence.
Kashin was attacked on Saturday, November 6, 2010. This statement from the State Department comes two full days after the attack. We have already condemned the people of Russia and their wretched, malignant government over this attack. Now, we condemn the Obama administration. Our reasons are many. The craven cowardice reflected in this statement is palpable and embarrassing to any red-blooded American citizen.
Oleg Kashin, Russian journalist under attack
Last weekend leading Russian journalist Oleg Kashin lay in an induced coma after being brutally beaten in Moscow by Russian assailants who broke his fingers, cracked his skull and left him for dead. Kashin’s reporting on controversial subjects like Kaliningrad for the maverick Kommersant publishing group directly challenged the Kremlin’s authority and basic anti-democratic policies, and it seems they could no longer be tolerated. In a shocking trivialization of the incident, Russian “president” Dima Medvedev actually Twittered about it, writing “the criminals must be found and punished.” This appears right next to his remarks about cheeseburgers with Barack Obama and other nonsensical, childlike babblings. Julia Ioffe writes:
Many pointed instantly at United Russia’s youth wing, Molodaya Gvardia, which openly threatened Kashin in an August article on its website. It was titled, in the hyperbolic, hyphenated language of early Soviet propaganda, “Journalist-traitors need to be punished!” “They have betrayed their homeland, they have spit on their civic duty!” it blared, adding Kashin to a list of others needing to be punished.
Simultaneously, a horrific mass killing in the Krasnodar region was being reported, with a whole household massacred by knife-wielding maniacs and then set ablaze in their own home, including numerous children.
And to complete this trifecta of savagery, the Sunday Times published a devastating, shocking translation of a text written by a Russian solider describing his acts of perversion and bloodthirsty barbarism in Chechnya.
Nobody — but nobody — can read these three accounts and conclude anything but that Russia is an uncivilized, bloodthirsty nation, and that the people of Russia are just as guilty in these crimes as the perpetrators because they stand mute at best, at worst actively encourage both governmental and non-governmental criminals to continue their bloody rampage.
Other Russia reports:
Editors at Novaya Gazeta, one of Russia’s most well-renowned opposition newspapers, fear that the publication may be shut down in the coming year.
Following months of legal battles, a Russian court declared in September that a decision by Roskomnadzor (Russia’s federal media supervision agency) to issue an official warning against the newspaper for “propagandizing nationalistic views” was valid. Since a publication can be shut down after two such warnings, Novaya Gazeta editors say that the court’s decision spells the beginning of the possible end of the newspaper.
The Lying Bastards at Voice of Russia
Even by the appalling standards of neo-Soviet pseudo-journalism, the lapdog cretins at the Voice of Russia radio propaganda network operated by the Putin Kremlin deserve some special kind of prize.
The willingness of these mendacious bastards to lie openly, shamelessly and repeatedly, regardless of how obvious it may be that they are doing so, bespeaks mental illness. They are so utterly removed from any vague sense of reality or ethics that it is possible to believe they have not yet heard about the failure and collapse of the USSR.
Here is the report on last week’s regional “elections” by Voice of Russia, for instance:
Putin’s Internet Crackdown in Russia
Rustem Adagamov says: “The Internet is the last free territory [in Russia] — but it won’t stay that way for long.”
He’d know. He’s the most widely-read blogger in Russia, holding forth as “Drugoi” (“The Other”) on Live Journal.
You don’t have to look hard to find examples that prove he’s right.
Armed and masked police raided the opposition New Times magazine on Thursday, pressing journalists to hand over interview recordings used in reports on alleged abuse of authority by the OMON riot police.
A handful of police entered the magazine’s Moscow office seeking recordings of interviews and other material used in a February report that cited police sources as saying OMON officers are permitted to commit abuses when breaking up protests.
“We suggest you voluntarily — voluntarily — give us the recordings of the interview with the current and former OMON staff,” the officer in charge of the raid told New Times editor Yevgenia Albats in the presence of a Reuters reporter.
Paul Goble reports:
Attacks on journalists in Russia and militia violence against Russian citizens inevitably attract more attention when they take place in Moscow or another central Russian city, but these disturbing phenomena are increasingly spreading across the entire country, as two new reports make clear.
At the request of the New Times, analysts at the Glasnost Defense Foundation, who have been monitoring attacks on journalists in Russia for ten years provided the Moscow weekly with “a detailed analysis of attacks” over the last five years, one that shows where the attacks have been and what have been the outcomes .
During that period, there have been attacks on journalists in 78 of the 83 federal subjects. Only Smolensk, Tambov and Magadan oblasts and the Nenets and Chukotka autonomous districts have had none, the foundation reports. Moreover, in 66 of the regions during the last five years, journalists have been killed or maimed or both.
Some thoughts on Russia Today‘s Tomorrow
by Ethan S. Burger
Exclusive to La Russophobe
The Russian people have not experienced any significant benefit from the symbolic pressing of the “reset” button in U.S.-Russian relations. Just ask any Russian citizen what they think about the necessity of urging the work force to stay home or establishing 120 “anti-smog centers” in Moscow as a result of the fires near the capital. This situation in Moscow is being well reported by the foreign press and Russia Today, can the same be said of the state-owned media?
I have often wondered what the Russian leadership thinks it gains from placing special supplements of Russia Today in major newspapers like The Washington Post and the New York Times. Most U.S. newspapers are struggling, as Hendrik Hertzberg wrote in The New Yorker, this did not prevent The Washington Post from undertaking a comprehensive investigation analysis of the wasteful homeland security complex (both governmental and private-sector, largely government-funded) that has emerged post 9/11. It is doubtful that any Russian media outlet that reaches a large segment of the population would ever have the courage to undertake a comparable effort about the fires currently spreading through the country.
Posted in burger, journalism, journalists, propaganda, russia
Tagged al-Qaeda, Deutsche Welle, ethan burger, Great Britain, New York Times, russia, russia today, United States, voice of america, Washington Post
Vladimir Ryzhkov, writing in the Moscow Times:
Behind President Dmitry Medvedev’s superficial and meaningless words of “modernization” and “freedom is better than a lack of freedom,” Russia continues its repression of opposition members, human rights activists and independent journalists. A good example of how Medvedev’s “modernization and freedom” is flourishing can be found in the republic of Altai, a picturesque, mountainous region in West Siberia. Criminal charges were filed by Altai Governor Alexander Berdnikov against Sergei Mikhailov, editor-in-chief of the local Listok newspaper, for its critical articles against Berdnikov and other bureaucrats in his administration.
Two Russian journalists have been honored by Human Rights Watch with Hellman/Hammett Grants for standing up for democracy at enormous personal risk. We congratulate these two magnificent Russian patriots:
Natalia Morari (Russia) is an investigative journalist who writes about corruption and money laundering for the Moscow-based newspaper The New Times. In December 2007, when she was returning from an assignment in Israel, she was barred from entering Russia, held overnight at the airport, and deported to Moldova, her home country. Two weeks later, she was told that she was considered a threat to national security and would no longer be allowed to enter Russia. In February 2008, Morari married Ilya Barabanov, a Russian citizen who is also an investigative journalist at The New Times. When they attempted to visit Russia together as husband and wife, Morari was still refused entry.
Alikhan Kureishevich Timurziev (Russia) covered events in Ingushetia, North Ossetia, and Chechnya as a reporter and then deputy editor of the newspaper Ingushetiya, often writing about corruption and human rights abuses. He also worked with the award-winning Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was later assassinated, arranging meetings and accompanying her on reporting trips. This prompted local police to start monitoring him. Local authorities tried to bribe him into publishing an article smearing international nongovernmental organizations working in the Caucuses. After he refused, unidentified men abducted him, beat him, and left him in a field. He reported the attack to the local prosecutor’s office, but the case was not pursued. Harassment continued; then Timurziev came down with a mysterious disease, leaving him comatose for weeks and causing him to lose most of his teeth and hair. In 2007, he went into hiding and then fled to Poland. For the past 2½ years, he has been living in a refugee camp in Poland waiting for action on an asylum application.
"Chimera, mystery of the Russian Soul" by Lena Hades
Mr. Putin and his “Extremists”
We’re guilty, and we admit it. If Vladimir Putin has any guts at all, he’ll indict us. We’ll be happy to pay our own way to Moscow to face his charges of “extremism.” In fact, in just today’s issue, we’re guilty of at least two different acts of extremism. Take us away!
Today in this issue we publish our own original translation of an article that appeared in the Russian newspaper Vedomosti, the Russian equivalent of the Wall Street Journal, this past April, authored by Maya Kucherskaya. Two months later, the Putin regime declared it to be “extremism” and forced the paper to remove the article from its website. One more such designation and Vedemosti is subject to being shut down by the Kremlin.
Kucherskaya is a highly trained scholar and writer and the recipient of two of Russia’s most prestigious awards for writing. But not in the eyes of the Kremlin, she’s not. Because she dared to analyze the recent spate of terrorist acts against Russia critically, in the Kremlin’s eyes she’s no different than Shamil Basayev and one of Russia’s most respected newspapers is on the verge of closure.
She’s not alone.
Moscow Times editorial page editor Michael Bohm, writing for the paper:
When Yury Shevchuk, a rock musician and outspoken Kremlin critic, met with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin two weeks ago, it was truly a historic event. After all, we have waited 10 years for this precious moment — when Putin would finally go one-on-one with a real critic of his regime.
Indeed, most Putin-watchers — including many of his loyal supporters — have grown bored with the soft, self-censored questions from journalists or Putin’s highly staged call-in shows in which some of the more probing questions in years past have included:
1. “It is well-known that great people suffer from depression. Do you have depression?”
2. “Do you like going to the banya?”
3. “Do you use a cellular phone?”
4. “Is it true you promised to hang [Georgian President Mikheil] Saakashvili by one of his body parts?”
5. “Why does Russia’s national soccer team perform so poorly?”
6. “Why don’t the national television channels show gymnastics in the morning anymore?”
7. “How will you celebrate New Year’s Eve?”
8. “Are you romantic?”
9. “When will we see the first snowfall?”
10. “Do you let stupid questions get through on your program?”