Prokhorov in the Woodshed
Last week saw the Right Cause party of oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov go down in flames. It used to be the case that the Kremlin liquidated politicians (like former prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov and former first deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov) because they were too anti-Kremlin. But those days are over. Now, it’s going after all political figures who are not pro-Kremlin enough! It is the natural progression as Russia returns to a neo-Soviet state.
Drunken Russian Killers
When a TU-134 jet went down in Petrozavodsk, Russia on June 20th this year, some people (the Russian government included) wanted to blame the aging plane itself. Now, they own the poor plane an apology.
The 47 Russians who lost their lives on that flight were not killed by the plane, nor were they killed by any “evil” Chechen terrorist. They were killed by a fellow Russian, the navigator of the plane Aman Atayev. He was drunk at the wheel.
So even if the passengers had been flying in a brand new Boeing aircraft made in America with the latest technology, they still would not have been safe. Atayev’s mother says he turned to drinking as a result of his recent divorce, yet another omnipresent Russian social ill. She says so as if he were somehow the innocent victim of that divorce, but in fact one Russian man murders his wife every forty minutes, so it’s quite likely he brutalized his wife emotionally or physically or both, and that’s why she left him.
The Russian Volga cruise ship Bulgaria
At 8:19 am EST on Sunday, July 10, 2011, the Washington Post published a wire story on its website from the Associated Press about the sinking of the Bulgaria (shown above in happier times), a fifty-year-old tourist vessel plying the Volga River in Russia more than a mile off shore and near the village of Syukeyevo in the Kansko-Ustinovsky district of the Republic of Tatarstan. Two minutes later the New York Times published a wire story from Reuters about the same event. The reports followed the event by about three hours. Since then, the two papers have altered the reports substantially because the information they reported was totally false.
The AP story, relying on a male spokesperson for the Russian Emergencies Ministry, said that 61 of the 173 people who were on the vessel (140 passengers and 33 crew) were missing. The Reuters story, relying on a female spokesperson for the same ministry, said the number missing was 96 of 173.
Various Kremlin spokespeople then began claiming that the vast majority of the passengers had been rescued. Acting as if the Russian government were a responsible, intelligent organization that could be trusted, innumerable Western news outlets began reporting these claims.
Then all hell broke loose.
Kremlin Stooge, The Very Bottom of the Fetid Russophile Barrel
He is a stooge, and he is proud of it!
We here at LR have laid quite a number of invidious, smelly little Russophile bloggers in their graves. Konstantin. Accidental Russophile. Russia Blog. Even a queer little bird called “La Russophobe Exposed.” So many others. We’ve seen them come, and we’ve seen them fall. And each time one does, we’ve noticed, the replacement is that much more insipid, clueless and pathetic than the one that came before — which, in context, is saying quite a lot.
Here’s a case in point: The ever so aptly named “Kremlin Stooge.” With this one, Russia really is scraping the absolute bottom of a very fetid barrel.
Here’s the executive summary: Russia is losing billions and billions and billions in capital flight and foreign investment. The response of the Kremlin Stooge: It doesn’t matter. Russia already has more money than it knows what to do with. Besides, America also has financial problems.
You think we’re kidding? Read on.
Russian Hypocrisy knows no Bounds
Anyone who knows Russia even casually has heard it many times: It’s wrong to publicly criticize government leaders, it undermines their authority and their ability to do good for people. That’s why the state has to control all the major TV stations and newspapers, and become a national cheerleader to inspire Russians who would otherwise give up hope in dealing with the horrific problems they face every day.
It’s total crap, of course, but OK, let’s go with it. Assuming the Kremlin is right, how in the world can it possibly justify suddenly using a massive TV campaign to attack Yuri Luzhkov, the Mayor of Moscow, last week?
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.
Putin is Drowning in his own Sewage
For the Russian Kremlin to balance its annual budget this year, the price of crude oil must average $123 per barrel.
It’s an astounding fact. No other member of the G-8, and no member of BRIC, depends for budget solvency on the price of a commodity which is set abroad. Russia is, quite simply, not its own nation.
But there’s an even more horrifying reality for Vladimir Putin to face: So far this year, the price of crude oil has actually averaged $78 per barrel — and just $75 per barrel this month. That’s a whopping 40% less than the budget requires.
Vladimir Putin is drowning in the fetid sewage of his own economic mismanagement.
Posted in economics, editorial, neo-soviet failure, russia
Tagged barack obama, dmitry medvedev, Kremlin, Politicians, Politics, Prime minister, russia, vladimir putin
Paul Goble reports that, in contrast to the poll data we discuss in our led editorial, the Kremlin’s own polls show nobody wants to leave Russia. But Goble thinks he knows one reason why at least some Russians want to stay: They know they’d be required to obey the law if they lived in a civilized country.
In addition to all the normal constraints – inertia, language knowledge, and uncertainty about other places – Russians today choose not to leave their country for work abroad because they consider it “abnormal to live according to the letter and spirit of the law” as Western countries require, according to VTsIOM director Valery Fedorov.
Speaking to a Novosibirsk forum “Strategy 2020″, Fedorov, the general director of the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion, said that Russians at the present time “rarely consider emigration abroad as a key to the resolution of their personal problems.”
According to his organization’s data, the VTsIOM pollster said, far fewer Russians are interested in moving abroad than “20, 15 or even 10 years ago.” Even those who are having problems “where they were born and grew up,” he continued, have many reasons for deciding against such a step.
Posted in demographics, disintegration, russia
Tagged Brain drain, Kremlin, Moscow, paul goble, russia, Russian language, Travel and Tourism, Travel Guides, Western world