Oleg Kozlovsky, writing on the Huffington Post:
As Vladimir Putin is apparently preparing to return to the Presidential seat in 2012, PR campaign in his support is gaining strength sometimes almost reaching the level of cult of personality. On October 6, a day before Putin’s 59th birthday, he got an unusual gift from several female students of Moscow State University’s Department of Journalism. Twelve soon-to-be journalists in sexy lingerie posed for a calendar entitled “Happy Birthday, Mr. Putin!” Next to their smiling photos were put slogans like “How About a Third Time?”, “Who Else If Not You?”, “You Are Only Getting Better with Years” etc. Names of the girls and their department were mentioned at every page.
Top: cover of the original calendar saying “Vladimir Vladimirovich, We Love You!”
Bottom: remake by Zhurfak students, saying “Vladimir Vladimirovich, We Have a Few Questions For You.”
Make no mistake, it wasn’t a joke or a spontaneous burst of patriotism of a few not-so-smart girls.
The Kremlin has lost a major battle and received another humiliating international black eye. The Microsoft Website reports:
A story in yesterday’s New York Times reports on anti-piracy enforcement actions in Russia that have been used for more nefarious purposes than protecting intellectual property rights.
As General Counsel for Microsoft, it was not the type of story that felt good to read. It described instances in which authorities had used piracy charges concerning Microsoft software to confiscate computers and harass non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and others engaged in public advocacy. It suggested that there had been cases when our own counsel at law firms had failed to help clear things up and had made matters worse instead.
Whatever the circumstances of the particular cases the New York Times described, we want to be clear that we unequivocally abhor any attempt to leverage intellectual property rights to stifle political advocacy or pursue improper personal gain. We are moving swiftly to seek to remove any incentive or ability to engage in such behavior.
Another Day, Another Nemtsov Arrest
Once again last Tuesday, the former first deputy prime minister of Russia was arrested and accused of “provocation” by the Putin Kremlin for daring to challenge its authority.
Before we discuss the latest incidence of jaw-dropping barbarism from the Putin Kremlin, though, let’s take a moment to reflect on amazing photograph shown above, an image captured by a Novaya Gazeta photographer at the scene of the crime. It ought to strike sheer terror into the hearts of the loathsome reptiles within the Moscow Kremlin.
Posted in editorial, nemtsov (white paper), neo-soviet crackdown, opposition groups, russia
Tagged barack obama, boris nemtsov, European Union, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Leonid Brezhnev, russia, United States, vladimir putin
So-called law enforcement officers following Vladimir Putin's advice in Moscow on August 31
Oleg Kozlovsky, writing on the Huffington Post, reveals how Vladimir Putin has declared open, violent war against peaceful protesters (just for daring to march without a license, not for defying an order to disperse) and his own presidency-for-life:
Today’s Kommersant publishes a fresh interview with Vladimir Putin, where the dictator comments on opposition rallies:
Look, all our opponents support a Rechtsstaat. What is a Rechtsstaat? It is obedience to the existing law. What does the existing law say about [Dissenters’] Marches? You need to get a permission from the authorities. Got it? Go and protest. Otherwise you don’t have this right. If you go out without having the right, get beaned with a baton. That’s it!
Putin manages to lie three times in this short passage:
Posted in kozlovsky, neo-soviet crackdown, opposition groups, russia
Tagged Civil disobedience, Huffington Post, Kommersant, Law, Moscow, oleg kozlovsky, russia, united russia, vladimir putin
Robert Amsterdam interviews Lev Ponomarev:
Russia-watchers are no doubt aware of the recent arrest of my good friend Lev Ponomarev. Lev is one of the leading lights of the Russian human rights movement, part of the original perestroika-era generation of human rights advocates whose courageous efforts ensured that democratic reforms were an integral part of the changes that followed the collapse of communism. These reforms have been steadily and vigorously eroded over the past decade under Vladimir Putin. Several days ago, for example, Lev was arrested in Moscow on Flag Day – while walking with a Russian flag. The irony is all the greater because Russia’s Flag Day commemorates the day in 1991 when the tricolor was raised for the first time over the Supreme Soviet building after the failed August Putsch, a time when Lev was a deputy to the Congress of People’s Deputies of the RSFSR and a key figure in the fledgling democracy movement.
I spoke with Lev by phone after his release, and here is what he had to say:
Posted in neo-soviet crackdown, opposition groups, russia
Tagged Flag Day, Human rights, lev ponomarev, Lev Ponomaryov, Moscow, robert amsterdam, russia, Russian language, Soviet Union, vladimir putin
Boris Nemtsov, draped in his country's flag, finds out what his "prime minister" thinks about real patriotism -- Courtesy Reuters
Nemtsov Arrested, Again!
Yuri Shevchuk, unplugged, a command performance for Vladimir Putin on Pushkin Square in Moscow -- Courtesy AP
Last time, just weeks ago, former First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov was arrested for signing an autograph. This time, his crime was far more serious: Waving a Russian flag. World-renown human rights activist Lev Ponomaryov was also arrested.
Nemtsov was arrested by Vladimir Putin’s jack-booted goons once again last week, before he could even set foot at the site of a demonstration in support of the Russian flag. Yuri Schevhuk, the Russian Bruce Springsteen, was forced to sing at the demonstration without amplification after Putin’s goons blocked his speakers from reaching him.
Putin on the Edge
An extraordinary YouTube video was making the rounds in Russia circles last week. It showed Vladimir Putin in his shirtsleeves being confronted outside a government building in Nizhny Novgorod by a throng of enraged local residents who had watched their lives go up in flames.
Putin is attacked for having done nothing to prepare the local population for the disaster of spreading wildfires, and for having failed to make a timely response to the disaster after it occurred. In brutal, condescending language, talking to Putin as if he were a child, the residents demand action, and Putin stammers ridiculous promises about rebuilding homes from the ground up.
Needless to say, the confrontation was not aired on any national broadcast television, because all those stations are owned and operated by Putin himself.