Tag Archives: robert amsterdam

Russia, Land of Extinction, Part II

Hero journalist Grigori Pasko, writing on Robert Amsterdam’s blog (eсли Вы хотите прочитать оригинал данной статьи на русском языке, нажмите сюда):

It would seem I had already become accustomed to the notion that there is practically not one single corner of the earth left where you can’t find a Russian person. From Australia to Iceland, from Brazil to Japan, we are everywhere, sometimes taking over like an infestation. In so doing it ought to be taken into account that I’m not speaking about tourists, but about those who have left Russia for abroad for a new “PMZh” – permanent place of residence.

Of course, many of those who have left haven’t yet become citizens of the countries they’ve taken a fancy to. But this is a matter of time and persistence. Of course, many were compelled to leave: the power structure in today’s Russia makes starting businesses and owning property very difficult apart from few rich men with a tenacity that wasn’t inherent even to the “birdlings of Dzerzhinsky’s nest“. For example, look no further than the burgeoning community of wealthy but frightened Russian men in London. But not only the rich leave Russia. To my surprise I have met with many working class Russian people in other countries, who had left to their new adopted homes not even knowing the languages of these countries.

Once in my blog I wrote on this topic. And, it is recalled, an argument ensued with one of the readers. He asserted that Russians began to leave Russia massively still under Yeltsin, while under Putin and his stability, on the contrary, the outflow of of human resources shrank.

Let’s take a look at what the numbers say.

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Amsterdam interviews Ponomarev

Robert Amsterdam interviews Lev Ponomarev:

Russia-watchers are no doubt aware of the recent arrest of my good friend Lev Ponomarev. Lev is one of the leading lights of the Russian human rights movement, part of the original perestroika-era generation of human rights advocates whose courageous efforts ensured that democratic reforms were an integral part of the changes that followed the collapse of communism. These reforms have been steadily and vigorously eroded over the past decade under Vladimir Putin. Several days ago, for example, Lev was arrested in Moscow on Flag Day – while walking with a Russian flag. The irony is all the greater because Russia’s Flag Day commemorates the day in 1991 when the tricolor was raised for the first time over the Supreme Soviet building after the failed August Putsch, a time when Lev was a deputy to the Congress of People’s Deputies of the RSFSR and a key figure in the fledgling democracy movement.

I spoke with Lev by phone after his release, and here is what he had to say:

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