Ariel Cohen, writing on the National Interest website:
In late August, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev appointed Georgy Poltavchenko governor of St. Petersburg. Poltavchenko has served as presidential envoy to Russia’s central-administrative district since 2000. More importantly, he is a loyalist to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and a KGB veteran. He replaces Valentina Matviyenko, another Putin confidante, who has moved on to chair the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian Parliament. Sergey Mironov, the former speaker of the Federation Council, is out. All this game of musical chairs has little to do with either President Medvedev or significant democratic developments. Rather, it demonstrates how Putin is rearranging his insiders.
When Russia found it had a fertility problem, its adopted an unusual solution: bribing parents to have babies. Never mind what might happen to a child born into a family which only had him to get a quick infusion of cash, never mind that one Russia woman is murdered by her husband every forty minutes. And now the New York Times reports that Russia has found an interesting “solution” to its drug addiction problem. Regardless of the fact that it’s palpably illegal and barbaric, Russia simply puts an addict in a cage and lets him scream until enough time has passed for his withdrawal symptoms to disappear.
The treatment center does not handcuff addicts to their beds anymore. But caged together on double-decker bunks with no way out, they have no choice but to endure the agonies of withdrawal, the first step in a harsh, coercive approach to drug treatment that has gained wide support in Russia.
“We know we are skirting the edge of the law,” said Sergei Shipachev, a staff member at the center, which is run by a private group called City Without Drugs. “We lock people up, but mostly we have a written request from their family. The police couldn’t do this, because it’s against the law.”
Play began at this year’s U.S. Open tennis tournament on Monday, August 29, 2011, with 21 Russians represented in the main draws. Only France and the USA had contingents of equal or larger size at the year’s final grand slam event, so Russia might have taken some pride in the achievement.
But within days, Russia probably wished it had skipped the tournament entirely.
Before play had begun on Wednesday, August 31, a mere two days in, 11 of those 21 Russians were gone. Only the USA saw more players eliminated from the draws in the first two days, but the USA had one-third more entries in the draw and as a result lost only one-third of its contingent. It had twice as many active players going into day three as Russia. Russia’s contingent had been cut by more than half and the tournament had hardly even begun.
And it wasn’t just Russia’s second-rate players who were cut down. Russia’s top-seeded male player, Mikhail Youzhny, lost his first-round match to an unseeded opponent in woefully noncompetitive fashion, showing the way to ten of his fellow Russians out the U.S. Open’s swinging door.
Russia’s next major humiliation was provided by Maria Sharapova, the country’s second-highest-seeded female player, in the third round.
Posted in neo-soviet failure, russia, sharapova, sports
Tagged Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Igor Kunitsyn, Maria Kirilenko, maria sharapova, Mikhail Youzhny, russia, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Vera Zvonareva
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.
Simon Shuster, writing for Time magazine’s website:
Alexander Smirnov has never gotten over the euphoria of August 1991. He was a college student in Leningrad at the time, lanky and pale with Coke-bottle glasses, and on the morning of Aug. 20, 1991, he walked out onto the central square of the city to find a sea of people taking part in one of the largest demonstrations Russia had ever seen. The day before, a military coup had begun.
The heads of the KGB, the army and police, along with a few other obdurate communists, had seized control of the Soviet Union from President Mikhail Gorbachev, and ordered tanks into Moscow to impose a state of emergency. In response, hundreds of thousands of people went onto the streets across the empire to stop the return of the bad old days of the Communist state. “We were prepared to lay down in front of the tanks,” Smirnov says. And in Moscow a few of them did. Only three days after the military junta began, the civil resistance defeated it. On Aug. 22, the coup leaders were arrested, and the Soviet Union never recovered. Four months later, on Christmas Day, it was dissolved.
Putin is the disease, democracy is the cure.
The Moscow Times reports:
Siberian investigators are seeking jail terms over a prank in which a billboard (shown above) for a clinic treating sexually transmitted diseases was doctored to include less-than-flattering portraits of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin.
On Tuesday, August 30, 2011, La Russophobe was pleased to welcome visitor number three million to our blog. Over the course of five years since our blog was founded we have averaged 600,000 visitors and 10,000 comments per year. We remain the only major Russia blog on the planet which openly shares our traffic and comment data with our readers, and we remain unrivaled in our ability to provoke and educate a wide range of readers from across the globe about the topic of Russian politics, as well as in our ability to reach into and influence Russia itself. No other Russia blog has shown our longevity, consistency and stamina to date, and no other Russia blog has contributed as many translations from Russian sources or achieved comparable influence in the mainstream media (we’ve even been cited as authority by the lofty likes of the New York Review of Books!). Our readers are as much a part of LR as our contributors and editors, so pat yourself on the back, and let’s redouble our efforts to challenge the satanic evil that is the neo-Soviet dictatorship!
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.
Alexei Pankin, writing in the Moscow Times:
It is difficult to imagine a greater joy than visiting Georgia.
Amazingly, the blood spilled in the Russia-Georgia war three years ago has not cooled the warm feelings that Georgians feel toward Russians, and that is the result of several centuries of living together in one nation. And because few Russians now visit the country — made worse by the fact that there are only three overpriced flights per week between Moscow and Tbilisi — those who do come are treated to an outpouring of the great love that Georgians feel for all Russians.
Vladimir Kara-Murza, writing on his blog Spotlight on Russia, remembers the end of the old Iron Curtain as the new one descends across the continent:
Just the same, no simpler
Are the tests of our times:
Can you come to the square?
Dare you come to the square?
Can you come to the square?
Dare you come to the square?
When that hour strikes?
— Alexander Galich, St. Petersburg Romance (1968)
On August 19, 1991, Muscovites awakened to the sound of tanks. In a fitting conclusion to the decades of Soviet tyranny, the tanks that once rolled on the streets of Budapest, Prague, and Vilnius, came to the heart of Russia. By mid-morning, Moscow was occupied by troops. Television channels were broadcasting Swan Lake, interrupted only by pale-faced news anchors who read out decrees by self-proclaimed “acting president” Gennady Yanayev declaring a state of emergency, suspending most constitutional rights, shutting down newspapers and radio stations, and announcing the formation of a new governing body—the “State Committee on the State of Emergency” (known by its Russian acronym, GKChP), composed of the top Communist leadership, including the vice president, the prime minister, the minister of defense, and the chairman of the KGB. Their objective: to save the rapidly crumbling Soviet dictatorship
If history was any indicator, the coup was bound to succeed.
Such a mysterious (and painful) orb!
The stadium court in Cincinnati, Ohio, stood humiliatingly half empty on August 21st as the women’s final of the WTA’s Western & Southern Open began.
The reason was simple: Russia’s second best player, the hapless and grating Maria Sharapova was playing. Had a second Russian stood on the court opposite, the place might well have been entirely vacant.
Artemy Lebedev is a Russian designer and restauranteur who blogs as “Tema” on the LiveJournal forum. He recently posted a series of four photographs taken by another LJ blogger, Internallife, which we republish after the jump. They are interesting because they seamlessly integrate partial animation. In one photo the model’s belly rises and falls while she breathes, in other she blinks her eyes, creating a startling contrast. The images drew nearly 700 comments on Lebedev’s blog, and show that Russians are capable of doing really clever things sometimes, if they choose to apply themselves.
They also so how utterly corrupt Russia really is, because they show up only in the context of borderline pornography and other low pursuits, some actually criminal like hacking and piracy. Though the photographers assure readers that the model is of legal age and employed, she looks like a child, and why must this technique be shown in this context? Why not something a little more . . . civilized? Why can’t these Russians see that that if they need to assure readers the woman is of legal age, they probably should have considered a different model, or an non-sexual way of showing their talent. Such moral thoughts seem totally beyond Russia’s ken. In light of our editorial in today’s issue about a brutal gang-rape of a drugged female student in London, these photos offer a terrifying type of insight about the attitude of Russians towards their women.
Anyway, it’s too much Russia in a nutshell (and we do mean nut!) for us to overlook. If you cannot see the animation, try a different browser or click through the original on Tema’s website.
WARNING: NUDITY FOLLOWS! EXERCISE DISCRETION!
FRIDAY AUGUST 19 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Sacrilege at Seliger
(2) EDITORIAL: No to WTO
(3) EDITORIAL: Putin Spits on Russia
(4) EDITORIAL: Oops! Ouch!
(5) Ostrich Putin
(6) One Picture is Worth a Thousand Screams
NOTE: LR founder and publisher Kim Zigfeld’s latest piece on the powerful and influential American Thinker blog examines the latest love fest between the American-hating dictator of Cuba and the equally America-loathing dictator of Russia.
NOTE: Leading opposition activist Vladimir Milov has married a hottie.
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!!!
Pavel Baev, writing on the Jamestown Foundation website:
The volatile turbulence that battered the world economy last week should have passed Russia by, but it did not. Indeed, Russia is not burdened by a massive debt, is spared political feuds about budget cuts and is not even exposed to the looming Greek default; nevertheless, its stock exchange fell deeper than most. The Dow Jones index, for that matter, opens this Monday on about the same level where it was a week ago, while the RTS slipped from the plateau of about 11,600 to a low of 9,600 and barely bounced to 9,900 on Friday (Kommersant, August 13). Certainly, the speculative games are only a symptom, and not necessarily a reliable one, of the real economic trends, but statistics suggest that Russia’s economic growth slowed down in the second quarter, and experts argue that the country is entering into the new phase of turmoil, for which it is not any better prepared than it was in mid-2008 (www.newsru.com, August 10; Nezavisimaya Gazeta, August 12).
A Ukrainian Gestapo goon pulls down the pants of a helpless FEMEN protester for a little peek at her anatomy while dragging her down from the roof of a vehicle as she heroically protested the clearly illegal prosecution of Yulia Tymoshenko in Kiev last week.