About Gagarin and About Myself
By Oleg Kashin
November 29, 2010
Translated from the Russian by The Other Russia
An unfamiliar man in a white coat took an instinctive step to the side, and my hand, stretching towards his chest pocket, grasping only air, falls back again to the mattress.
“What does he want?” asks the man, feeling his pocket.
“The pen, probably,” posed a woman’s voice; and that woman, who I didn’t see, was right: the pen, of course, I needed the pen. The blue gel pen from the chest pocket of the white coat of that man.
Hero journalist Yulia Latynina, writing in the Moscow Times:
It must be nice to be president. Could you imagine if every half hour Ekho Moskvy radio announced, instead of the news: “Tomorrow at this time you’ll be able to hear the news on this station. We’ve set a goal and a plan: to provide you the news. It’ll be incredible. Amazing. Fantastic. The world’s best. And, don’t forget, tomorrow. We promise.” How long could that continue before everyone stopped listening to Ekho Moskvy?
But President Dmitry Medvedev continually promises to start working and never does. Not only does everybody listen to him, they even deem his statements worth discussing.
Masha Gessen, newly installed as an editor at Snob magazine, blogging at Reuters:
“Are you scared?” someone asked me during a talk in New York last Friday night.
I always get that question. I am a journalist working in Russia, where 19 murders of journalists remain unsolved. Russia ranks eighth in the Impunity Index compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists — the only European country on the list, it is wedged between Nepal and Mexico.
People may be forgiven that being scared is an occupational hazard for me.
So I gave my stock answer: “No, I am not scared,” I said. “I have been at times, but right now I don’t seem to be doing anything particularly dangerous.” This is true.
Again, Obama shows Yellow on Russia
“It is no secret that the movement that called for Kashin to be punished is financed and directed by the presidential administration.”
–Victor Davidoff, writing in the Moscow Times in an article entitled “Goebbels’ Guide to Russia“
It may not be a secret, Mr. Davidoff, but nonetheless there is no sign that the Obama administration knows it. If they do, they are evil bastards and ought to be impeached.
Here is the statement of the Obama State Department on the brutal attack on Russian journalist Oleg Kashin, brutally attacked just days after being openly threatened on the website of a youth cult that is bought and paid for the by the Putin Kremlin:
In Russia, the United States condemns the attack on Kommersant journalist Oleg Kashin and calls on Russian authorities to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice. Freedom of the press is a fundamental right in the United States and other countries, and we are committed to uphold the international and regional commitments. As the 2009 Humanitarian Rights Report noted, eight journalists, many of whom reported critically on the government, were killed over the last year in Russia. With one exception, the government has failed to identify, arrest, or prosecute any suspects. A free and independent press is central to a vibrant and well-functioning democracy. Journalists around the world must feel free to do their jobs without fear of intimidation or physical violence.
Kashin was attacked on Saturday, November 6, 2010. This statement from the State Department comes two full days after the attack. We have already condemned the people of Russia and their wretched, malignant government over this attack. Now, we condemn the Obama administration. Our reasons are many. The craven cowardice reflected in this statement is palpable and embarrassing to any red-blooded American citizen.
Hero journalist Yulia Latynina, writing in the Moscow Times:
Perhaps the one positive aspect of the vicious beating of Kommersant journalist Oleg Kashin on Saturday is that the list of suspects is confined to a small number of people — just like an Agatha Christie novel.
The first suspect is Khimki Mayor Vladimir Strelchenko. (He denies any role in the matter.) Sooner or later, Strelchenko’s enemies get their heads bashed in. Two years ago, Khimkinskaya Pravda editor Mikhail Beketov’s head was beaten so badly that he will probably never recover from the severe brain damage he incurred. On the recent anniversary of that beating, the Khimki leader of the Right Cause party, Konstantin Fetisov, suffered head injuries after he was attacked. Two days later, it was Kashin’s turn.
The second suspect is Vasily Yakemenko, head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, the spiritual leader of the “Putin-jugend.”
Oleg Kashin, Russian journalist under attack
Last weekend leading Russian journalist Oleg Kashin lay in an induced coma after being brutally beaten in Moscow by Russian assailants who broke his fingers, cracked his skull and left him for dead. Kashin’s reporting on controversial subjects like Kaliningrad for the maverick Kommersant publishing group directly challenged the Kremlin’s authority and basic anti-democratic policies, and it seems they could no longer be tolerated. In a shocking trivialization of the incident, Russian “president” Dima Medvedev actually Twittered about it, writing “the criminals must be found and punished.” This appears right next to his remarks about cheeseburgers with Barack Obama and other nonsensical, childlike babblings. Julia Ioffe writes:
Many pointed instantly at United Russia’s youth wing, Molodaya Gvardia, which openly threatened Kashin in an August article on its website. It was titled, in the hyperbolic, hyphenated language of early Soviet propaganda, “Journalist-traitors need to be punished!” “They have betrayed their homeland, they have spit on their civic duty!” it blared, adding Kashin to a list of others needing to be punished.
Simultaneously, a horrific mass killing in the Krasnodar region was being reported, with a whole household massacred by knife-wielding maniacs and then set ablaze in their own home, including numerous children.
And to complete this trifecta of savagery, the Sunday Times published a devastating, shocking translation of a text written by a Russian solider describing his acts of perversion and bloodthirsty barbarism in Chechnya.
Nobody — but nobody — can read these three accounts and conclude anything but that Russia is an uncivilized, bloodthirsty nation, and that the people of Russia are just as guilty in these crimes as the perpetrators because they stand mute at best, at worst actively encourage both governmental and non-governmental criminals to continue their bloody rampage.