Category Archives: YouTube

SPECIAL EXTRA: Umarov Declares war on Putin

Appearing on YouTube, separatist leader Doku Umarov (above, center) has declared war on Russia, the city of Moscow, and Vladimir Putin. So much for a “pacified” Caucasus.  Here’s one “bandit” still very much alive and kicking on his “toilet.”  In fact, he’s spitting in Putin’s eye. (Anyone thinking this chap is bluffing best think again.)

After the jump, the full English text of his remarks, provided by an LR reader (corrections appreciated).

NOTE:  We cannot but express our outrage at YouTube for daring to remove this vital historical document from its virtual pages, apparently in response to Kremlin-sponsored pressure. The above is at least the second posting of the video and we cannot say how long it will last. To censor this material is an offense against basic principels of democracy and YouTube should be ashamed.

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EDITORIAL: Putin on the Edge


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.

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VIDEO: Fighting Back against Putin’s Gestapo

A truly amazing nine-minute video has surfaced on YouTube recording the brutal crackdown against and heroic defiance of the “31” protesters in St. Petersburg a few days ago.

The group assembled to demand their rights to peaceably assemble under Article 31 of the Russian Constitution, and were summarily arrested by an army of OMON gestapo troops.  Despite repeated acts of crude violence against the protesters, they never strike back. But after being stuffed into a bus for transport to jail, they climb out onto the roof and continue their protest, absolutely mocking the authority of the police.  As the photos after the jump clearly show, the onlookers were utterly horrified by the barbaric conduct of the so-called “law enforcement officers,” who were in fact the only ones breaking the law this day.

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EDITORIAL: Russia is a Nation of Barbarians


Russia is a Nation of Barbarians

In our comments section below, a YouTube video is displayed.  Take care before you view it, it isn’t for the squeamish.

In it, a Russian driver in the city of Irkutsk plows into a group of pedestrians, seriously injuring them.

The driver’s airbags deploy and the driver is uninjured, while the car is heavily damaged.

The driver gets out of the car . . . and the only thing she’s interested in doing is checking out the damage to her precious vehicle.

No other drivers stop to help.

Pedestrians walk right by.  None of them stop to help either.

No criminal charges were filed against the driver.

Russia is a nation of barbarians.

The Sunday Photos: YouTube Edition

Source: Garry Kasparov’s blog.

The Sunday Photos, Part II

Is this the only thing the USSR was ever good for?

The Sunday Photos: YouTube Edition

Google Video.

The Sunday Photos: YouTube Edition

Oborona announces the opening their new web video archive. Below is their slick promotional video set to rockin tunes:

Click through to view the many other offerings available, including much documentation of the group’s courageous confrontations with the Kremlin’s stormtroopers.

The Sunday Film Review: Banned in Russia

The Moscow Times reports:

Swiss director Eric Bergkraut doesn’t expect his latest film, “Letter to Anna,” to go down well in Russia, or even to make it into theaters. But in an interview after the premiere of the feature-length version at the Hot Docs International Film Festival in Toronto, he said he didn’t want his film to be perceived as “anti-Russian.”

“One can be very critical of Mr. Putin’s politics without being anti-Russian at all,” Bergkraut emphasized. “I am not sure if that is understood in Moscow today.”

“Letter to Anna” is a documentary describing the life and death of the independent-minded Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was often treated with suspicion by the Russian authorities, and indeed by no small number of ordinary Russians.

Politkovskaya was best known for her critical writing on the wars in Chechnya, which appeared in the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, and in her books, “A Dirty War,” and “A Small Corner of Hell.”
She was shot to death in the elevator of her Moscow apartment building on October 7, 2006.

Bergkraut first met Politkovskaya in 2003, while he was working on his documentary, “Coca: The Dove From Chechnya,” a film about a Chechen woman who had filmed human rights abuses in the republic.

Bergkraut asked Politkovskaya to appear in the film, and she agreed.

“My first impression of Anna was that she was very busy, very focused on her work, and that she was afraid of wasting her time. But once we started talking, we had very long talks, much longer than we had intended,” Bergkraut said.

“What I liked was that she was always on the side of the weak person. I never had the feeling that it was about good Chechens and bad Russians. She was not naive at all. She just found the way the Russian government was dealing with the conflict not very intelligent.”

Bergkraut assembled “Letter to Anna” from footage of Politkovskaya left over from “Coca,” as well as footage which he shot in Russia after her death.

The film includes interviews with Politkovskaya’s son Ilya, her daughter Vera, her ex-husband, Alexander Politkovsky, and makes clear that Politkovskaya’s family feared for her life.

“Her family wanted to stop her. The only person who did not want to stop her was her daughter, Vera, who had a deep understanding for what her mother did. All the others — and it’s very understandable — tried to stop her, but it was not possible.”

The idea of living in exile was impossible for her, he said. “She did not want to leave the country. That would have been in total contradiction to who she was and how she lived.”

Expatriate Russian billionaire and Kremlin critic Boris Berezovsky is among the Kremlin opponents Bergkraut interviews in the film, which is one reason he expects to have difficulties getting it screened in Russia.

“The film could do without Berezovsky, but why should it? Why is it impossible for Russians to see Berezovsky?” Bergkraut asked.

“He is a kind of Mephisto in the film. He is not the good guy. He has to be in the film because, [Russian Prosecutor General] Yury Chaika said at a press conference that [Politkovskaya’s] murder could only have come from abroad, from oligarchs. It is quite clear that he was pointing at Berezovsky,” he said.

Another possible obstacle to the film’s presentation in Russia might be Politkovskaya’s characterization of the war in Chechnya as “genocidal.”

“She gives a very good argument,” says Bergkraut. “Do you know how many people have been killed in Chechnya? We do not know the figures. Maybe only 80,000. Maybe 150,000. Maybe 300,000. It’s really a tragedy. Chechens are a very small community,” he said.

“But every single Russian soldier and his family is a tragedy too, for me. It’s not necessarily that I share [her] judgment, but I wanted to show it,” he added.

“Letter to Anna” also includes appearances by Garry Kasparov, Novaya Gazeta editor Dmitry Muratov, and other colleagues and acquaintances of Politkovskaya.

Bergkraut regrets that he was not able to represent “official Russia” more thoroughly in his film.

“I tried very hard to get an interview with Yury Chaika, but it was not possible. I am trying hard to understand [his position]. I would have loved to have more official Russian voices,” he said.

Bergkraut also laments that no one from “official Russia” has attended any of his international screenings.

“At all the screenings of my film, I was expecting that some day someone from the Russian embassy would come, and we would have a discussion. Nobody ever came. It’s a pity. My last film has been shown in about 30 countries, but not in Russia. Isn’t that strange?”

After winning the International Human Rights Film Award for “Coca” in Berlin last year, Bergkraut was approached by several film stars who expressed interest in collaborating with him. As a result, Susan Sarandon, Catherine Deneuve, and Iris Berben provided the narrations for “Letter to Anna” in its English, French, and German versions, respectively.

Bergkraut’s film was also honored by Vaclav Havel when it screened at the One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in Prague earlier this year.

“Festivals and television stations are now approaching me because they want to show “Letter to Anna,” but no one has come to me from Russia,” Bergkraut said.

“A discussion [about Politkovskaya] — which may be controversial — would be interesting and somehow natural. The best thing would be if a Russian television channel bought “Letter to Anna. Maybe one day. Things can change.”

The Sunday Photos: Oborona Marches for Change

On May 1 in St. Petersburg Oborona activists, along with other opponents of the status quo in Russia, held a “march for freedom and justice.” The participants paraded along Nevsky Prospect and other principal streets of the “Northern Capital” and held a rally at Pioneer Square. The dissenters chanted slogans such as: “We need another Russia!” and “Putin, go skiing in Magadan!”and “The Plan of Putin is Russia poverty!”and “This is our city!”

The event ended with a concert hosted by actor Alexei Devotchenko, a member of the United Civil Front (FSI). He invited opposition leaders express themselves in the language of music, calling Putin’s regime “illegitimate” and condemning the participation of the Russian Orthodox Church in the activities of state. He followed Garry Kasparov, who said that United Russia was “looting” the country. Andrei Illarionov also spoke, asking those assembled to remember those who could not be present because they had been incarcerated, and calling for freedom for all political prisoners of the Putin regime.

The Sunday Photos

The YouTube above shows the offices of Oborona after being raided by the Kremlin’s stormtroopers last week in an effort to evict them and drive them underground. Below, an Oborona activists heroically displays the group’s colors during the raid.

The Real Dimitri Medvedev, Part I: Another Original LR Translation by our Original Translator

The above Russian-language parody of the way Dimitri Medvedev was selected to be the next “President” of Russia uses a re-dubbed scene from the classic 1966 film, “Prisoner of the Caucaus, or the New Adventures of Shurik” (Кавказская пленница, или Новые приключения Шурика) – a movie that every Russian in the world knows practically by heart. The parody appears to have become wildly popular on the RuNet, with nearly 800,000 views to date.

Wikipedia gives the following good summary of the original movie:

A kind, yet naïve, student named Shurik (Demyanenko) goes to a place in the Caucasus to learn the ancient customs of the locals. He falls in love with a girl called Nina (Varley), but her uncle (Mkrtchyan) sells her as a bride without her knowledge and arranges to have her kidnapped by an eccentric trio: Coward, Fool and Experienced. After a failed attempt, the uncle decides to trick Shurik into helping with the kidnapping – telling him that it is a traditional custom and that it was Nina’s own wish. Shurik goes through with the kidnapping, and does not figure out what has really happened at first, but with the help of a friend he manages to rescue Nina from her captors.

“Dmitriy Medvedev: How it all Began” uses the scene from this movie in which the uncle tricks Shurik into helping with the kidnapping – telling him that Putin himself has selected him to participate in the “traditional custom” of a Russian election – as one of the candidates for President! The Coward, the Fool and the Experienced (characters similar to the Three Stooges) are introduced as Zhirinovskiy, Zyuganov and Bogdanov – the three phony “presidential candidates” that Shurik/Medvedev will face in the “election”.

A lightly-edited translation:

Uncle (introducing himself and sitting down at table): “Mr. Medvedev? You’re a very lucky man! You wanted to observe ancient Russian customs? This one will be in March. And you won’t just get to see it, you’ll be able to participate as well!”

Medvedev: “Thank you so much! And what is this ancient custom called?”

Uncle: “Presidential Elections. Not real elections, basically like in Belarus, but custom requires that the President be elected.”

Medvedev: “A beautiful custom! But what will my role be?”

Uncle: “You’ll gather signatures, register your candidacy… and then the people will elect – guess who?”

Medvedev: “As usual – Putin.”

Uncle: “No, no – they’ll elect YOU. From a group of other candidates.”

Medvedev: “Ahh – so there are other candidates, too.”

Uncle: “Yes, as required by tradition. Incidentally, there they’re over there. Let me introduce them to you.” (The three “candidates” approach.) “From left to right: Zhirinovksiy, Zyuganov and… oh, I always forget his name… ah yes – Bogdanov!”

Medvedev (offering his hand to Zhirinovskiy): “Dmitriy.”

Zhirinovskiy (says nothing, just slaps Medvedev’s hand and salutes him)

Zyuganov (just grunts and squeezes Medvedev’s hand too hard)

Bogdanov (cowering): “Oh no! I’m no one! I’m nothing!” – and Zyuganov slaps his hand.

The candidates take their seats at the table, followed by a long, awkward silence…

Uncle (lowering his voice in an aside to Medvedev): “They don’t stand a chance, of course…” Then, smiling at all of them: “But they’re okay with that.”

Zhirinovskiy (exclaiming suddenly): “Democrats are goats!”

Medvedev: “What did he say?”

Uncle: “He says that all the time. Don’t pay any attention to him.”

Zyuganov: “We’re going to bomb them – in America!”

Medvedev: “What did he say?”

Uncle: “He says if you refuse to do it, he’ll be President. – It’s a joke.”

Medvedev (laughing): “A joke, fine. Well, I agree. So who’s going to be the Prime Minister?”

Uncle: “Vladimir Vladimirovych Putin.”

Medvedev (stops eating, looks scared): “So, Putin’s not going to leave?”

Uncle: “They worship him.”

Medvedev (now looking very scared, pauses, then laughs artificially): “I completely forgot, in March I have to, um…. well, basically, I can’t do it. No way.”

Uncle (very serious): “Mr. Medvedev… Putin specifically asked for you to do this.”

Medvedev: “Putin himself asked for me?”

Uncle: “Very much so.”

Medvedev (holds his head in his hands, depressed, then looks up): “Well, what can one do? Tell Putin I agree. Goodbye.” (Gets up from the table to leave.)

Uncle (following Medvedev out, through the now-dancing restaurant): “Listen. Custom demands that everything appear completely natural. Your competitors will fight you tooth and nail, complain endlessly… But you can’t pay any attention. This is all part of a beautiful, ancient tradition.”

Medvedev: “I understand. Don’t worry. Everything will look completely natural. See you at the elections.”

Uncle: “See you at the elections.”

Amsterdam Prison Camp YouTube Back Online

This video, posted by Robert Amsterdam on his YouTube page, was cited in a Wall Street Journal article by Bret Stephens and viewed more than 30,000 times. Some sort of action was then taken which led to YouTube removing the video, perhaps initiated by the Kremlin, but Amsterdam has now succeeded in restoring the video the the page.

The Sunday YouTube Part I: Annals of Friendly, Responsible Russia

Last week a Russian bomber buzzed a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean. The AP reported: “The bombers were among four Russian Tupolev 95s launched from Ukrainka in the middle of the night, including one that Japanese officials say violated their country’s airspace over an uninhabited island south of Tokyo. Such Russian bomber flights were common during the Cold War, but have been rare since. This is the first time Russian Tupolevs have flown over or interacted with a U.S. carrier since 2004.”

Since Russia doesn’t have any aircraft carriers, or indeed a credible navy of any kind, it goes without saying that the action is totally unprovoked. U.S. planes haven’t buzzed any Russian ships on the high seas at any time, nor have they been accused of violating Russian civil airspace.

But even if they had, is it really in the best interests of the Russian people to provoke a new cold war, and a news arms race, with the world’s only superpower? Does this behavior really indicate that Russia is a serious, responsible nation that deserves respect and attention?

The Sunday YouTube Part II: Russia, Perishing

March 2006. Fifteen years after the fall of Communism, Marcel Theroux goes on a personal journey through Putin’s Russia for British TV. He discovers a country that’s literally dying.

A reader writes: “I can imagine Russians saying that they could find a whole lot of bad things in America if they wanted to and make an anti-American film. The question is could they find a sadistic alcoholic facist police chief (who got promoted) in a chance encounter, when he stopped them from filming a community of outcast non-white American citizens awaiting deportation because they where and embarrassment?”

And indeed, is it really a comfort to Russians to believe that although they are destroying their nation, America also will be destroyed? Does hatred of America supecede love of Russia among Russians?

The Sunday Photos: Oborona YouTube Special Edition

Attorney/blogger Robert Amsterdam continues his leadership role in providing video material documenting the heroic work of the great Russian patriots at Oborona. In his latest two installments (he has his own YouTube channel) he offers the second part of an interview with Oleg Kozlovsky, the group’s leader, and two others with an activists on the front lines:

Oleg Kozlovsky, Part II
(Click here for Part I)
Xenia Vakhrusheva
Olga Galkina

The Sunday Photos, Part I: YouTube Edition — Law and Order in the Paradise Known as Putin’s Russia

CNN: Whats Going On In Russia?Click here for more blooper videos

The Sunday Photos, Part I: YouTube Edition — Law and Order in the Paradise Known as Putin’s Russia

CNN: Whats Going On In Russia?Click here for more blooper videos

The Sunday Photos, Part I: YouTube Edition — Law and Order in the Paradise Known as Putin’s Russia

CNN: Whats Going On In Russia?Click here for more blooper videos

The Sunday Photos, Part I: YouTube Edition — Law and Order in the Paradise Known as Putin’s Russia

CNN: Whats Going On In Russia?Click here for more blooper videos

The Sunday Photos, Part I: YouTube Edition — Law and Order in the Paradise Known as Putin’s Russia

CNN: Whats Going On In Russia?Click here for more blooper videos

The Sunday YouTube: Images from an Old Believer Village

The Sunday Photos: YouTube Edition

David McDuff says: “Dan Rather reports on the increasing danger posed to the rest of the world by the Russian state (about 14 minutes into the show, in a segment lasting some 40 minutes). From the truly sickening scenes of violence and intimidation of civilians in a modern European capital city perpetrated by young Russian Nazis – scenes which recall historical archive footage of Kristallnacht – to the massive cyberattacks on the infrastructure and institutions of a neighbour, orchestrated by the Russian government itself, this televised report goes to the centre of a real and growing threat to global peace and security.”

Robert Amsterdam offers viewers a peak behind the new iron curtain. CAUTION! Intense footage! Robert says it comes to him via “Lev Ponomarev, who when not writing for this blog or getting arrested during pro-democracy rallies, is one of Russia’s leading defenders of the rights of prisoners. Lev and his organization, ‘Foundation for the Defence of Prisoners,’ only very recently obtained possession of a secret video made in 2006 by a prison guard of a ‘Preventative Actions’ exercise by the OMON (special police squad) performed at a prison camp in Yekaterinaburg. The appalling instances of beatings, torture, inhumane treatment and excessive and arbitrary violence shown in this recording inarguably represent a fundamental violation of human rights.” Remember, Russians consider themselves to be living in an extraordinarily cultured, civilized society, entitled to look down their noses at the crude, barbaric USA.

Finally, Click here to watch more video (and read text) from a Russian expat reporter on the neo-Soviet crackdown, this time from the PBS “Frontline” program regarding police attacks on protesters in St. Petersburg.

The Sunday Photos: YouTube Edition

Everything Old is New Again in Neo-Soviet Russia

The Sunday YouTube

Lyudmila Alexeyeva of Moscow Helsinki Group by way
of Robert Amsterdam’s FABULOUS new YouTube channel
(which has more segments of this interview available)

Anastasiya Udaltsova of Vanguard of Red Youth
Oleg Kozlovsky of Oborona