Category Archives: potemkin villages

Medvedev’s Fraud at Potemkin Skolkovo

Hero reporter Yulia Latynina, writing in the Moscow Times:

On Dec. 14, the day before a Moscow court was supposed to issue the verdict against former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, President Dmitry Medvedev attended the “Go Russia!” innovation forum at Skolkovo to see how the modernization process is coming along. I must say that modernization is going full speed ahead — at least in and around Skolkovo.

First, the commuter rail station that will serve the future technopark was renamed from the obscure “Vostryakovo” to the much more fitting “Skolkovo.” And from that station it is a rigourous 30-minute trek through the woods to the site of the future Innovation City.

Second, the Skolkovo Highway has been sealed off. In the past, drivers caught in nearby traffic jams could detour along the Skolkovo Highway. But after concrete barriers were installed, motorists drove around them and continued on unpaved ground — that is, until the authorities completely sealed off the entire perimeter, bringing all detours to a halt.

Then, on a completely deserted stretch of highway near the Skolkovo School of Management, the authorities built a two-level interchange so that nothing could stop Russia from racing full speed into its innovative future.

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EDITORIAL: Potemkin Putin Exposed before the Russian Nation

EDITORIAL

Potemkin Putin exposed before the Russian Nation

Dr. Ivan Khrenov

Meet Dr. Ivan Khrenov.

On November 9, 2010, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin visited the hospital in Ivanovo where Khrenov works in cardiology.  Then days ago, Khrenov was selected as one of the questioners in Putin’s latest installment of his annual propaganda festival, where he pretends to respond to issues phoned in by ordinary citizens.  But Khrenov threw Putin a curve ball, and departed from the pre-arranged script to ask Putin whether he was aware that his visit to the hospital had been rigged, a total sham, a Potemkin village designed to deceive.

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EDITORIAL: Another New Low in Russian Humiliation

EDITORIAL

Another New Low in Russian Humiliation

Valentin Yudashkin

Meet Valentin Yudaskhin. A so-called Russian “fashion designer,” Mr. Yudaskin was hired by Vladimir Putin to design fashionable new Russian Army uniforms after Putin heard complaints that Russian recruits thought they looked like third-world idiots.  In doing so, Yudaskin boldly declared he was creating a “uniform for victors.”

Take a look at him. Think about the fact that he’s Russian, working for a neo-Soviet regime run by a proud KGB spy.  Now we ask you:  How do you think this scheme worked out?

If you didn’t guess that people started dying, shame on you.

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EDITORIAL: Medvedev the Marauder

EDITORIAL

Medvedev the Marauder

Ramón Mercader

Russia’s so-called “president” Dmitri Medvedev announced feverishly a few days ago that he was sending out a “Mercader” to deal with the “traitor” who exposed the Anna Chapman spy clan under deep cover in the United States.  As a result of that scandal, of course, Russia was totally humiliated before the entire world.  We offer further insights about the debacle in a post from the head of Agentura.ru in this very issue.

Medvedev was referring to “Ramón Mercader, the secret agent sent by Joseph Stalin to kill archrival Leon Trotsky with an ice pick.”  That’s right, Medvedev was openly patterning himself after Josef Stalin, and bragging about it in public. Lest you think the world saw this as another silly Russian joke, the “traitor” was soon under FBI protection.

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Russia’s Sham “Democracy” Exposed

Writing in the Christian Science Monitor, Luke Allnutt, editor in chief of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s English website and a blogge at Tangled Web, exposes the fundamental fraud of the Putin “democracy.”

With Russians up in arms about police corruption after a series of high-profile scandals, the Kremlin decided it had to do something. So it drafted a new police law and posted the bill on the Internet. The response was overwhelming: more than 20,000 Russians commented on the law, many of them offering detailed suggestions for changes.

This, according to the Kremlin, is the future of governance in Russia. Speaking in May, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said, “I am absolutely confident that there will come an epoch of return from representative democracy to direct democracy with the help of the Internet.”

On the surface, initiatives like crowdsourcing legal changes might seem like a progressive, liberalizing step taken by a tech-savvy government. But in reality they are merely an exercise in political theater which actuallybypasses representative democracy.

As less-than-democratic states understand the Internet’s vital role in economic development and are fearful of being cast as press-freedom pariahs, they will increasingly pursue sophisticated avenues of control, instead of simply restricting access.

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In Russia, the Fraud goes On

Vladislav Inozemtsev, writing in the Moscow Times:

President Dmitry Medvedev’s ambitious modernization goals remind me of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika. In fact, we are now at the two-year mark of Medvedev’s program, and if you look at where Gorbachev’s program was two years after it was initiated, you will see an amazing parallel — both projects amounted to little more than hype and empty slogans.

Many parallels have been drawn between Russia and the Soviet Union. United Russia has replaced the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and the State Duma has taken the place of the Supreme Soviet. Much like in the old days, opposition rallies are dispersed, and the courts rule in favor of the government line.

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Exposing the Potemkin Fraud that is the Putin Economy

Paul Goble, writing in the Moscow Times:

Officials in Moscow are misreading last weekend’s protests, viewing the relatively small size of the demonstrations as evidence that the population is “satisfied” with its situation rather than understanding that any decline in popular participation reflects the increasing “alienation” of the people and government.

That is the conclusion offered by the editors of Nezavisimaya Gazeta in a lead article published on Tuesday. And they add that unless Moscow understands this reality and unless the government takes steps to overcome this “alienation,” Russia’s future will be anything but bright.

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