The Wheels come Off the Putin Regime
Four stunning recent events showed how the wheels are coming off the dictatorial regime of Vladimir Putin.
First, Putin was humiliated by being denied Germany’s annual Quadriga award after international pressure forced the Germans to publicly withdraw it.
Then, a new public opinion poll revealed that Putin is becoming just as unpopular at home as he is abroad.
Then it got much worse.
Vladimir Putin, Exposed
On July 5th, Pravda was fuming.
It had just learned that the Netherlands had issued a blacklist against numerous Russian officials who were believed to be complicit in the torture and murder of attorney Sergei Magnitsky, who had leveled sweeping charges of corruption at the Kremlin and the been arrested.
But that was only the beginning of Vladimir Putin’s troubles.
Boot Russia out of the Council of Europe!
Russia has only less than one-sixth the population of Europe, yet it has nearly one-third of all pending cases for human rights violations before the European Court for Human Rights, which is organized and maintained by the Council of Europe — of which Russia is a member. Russia has nearly three times more cases pending before the EHCR than any other nation, and Russia loses nine out of ten cases when it is prosecuted by the EHCR.
The Kremlin’s response to its horrific human rights record — as adjudicated by one of the world’s most respected courts — has been quite simple: It is moving to oust the court’s jurisdiction from Russia. That’s fine, in fact it’s probably rather unfair to expect a nation of corrupt baboons to allow themselves to be controlled by something like the rule of law.
But as former Russian parliamentarian Vladimir Ryzhkov argues in the Moscow Times, it means that Russia must be ousted from the Council of Europe, and the sooner the better. We call upon the COE to heed Ryzhkov’s words and move forward immediately in standing up for its core values and casting Russia out.
And we state what is obvious: If Russia had the slightest shred of national dignity or honor, it would simply resign.
Vladimir Ryzhkov, writing in the Moscow Times:
Relations between Cold War-era foes Moscow and Washington have long been distrustful, hypocritical, peppered with mutual insinuations and patched together with the most tenuous of threads. But now, on the eve of State Duma and presidential elections, an inevitable crisis in relations is nearing that threatens to tear them apart at the seams.
Last week, a group of 15 U.S. senators formally introduced a bill targeting Russians for human rights violations and corruption, including 60 officials connected to the jail death of Hermitage lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. The bill would ban them from entering the United States and freeze any U.S.-based assets.
The Moscow Times reports:
Real estate in Dubai and Montenegro. Regular first-class travel. Millions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts. Russia’s second-best country house.
And all made possible with an annual household salary of less than $40,000.
Those are the findings of a private investigation into the assets of Olga Stepanova — the former Moscow tax official who authorized a $230 million payment that no one disputes was embezzled.
The investigation is the latest conducted by supporters of Hermitage lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in jail after accusing senior Interior Ministry officials of masterminding the $230 million fraud.
The Interior Ministry, in turn, accuses Magnitsky and Hermitage in the fraud.
The Vice President of the United States is a Moron
It’s pretty darned hilarious how members of the Democratic Party lampooned the last Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States, Sarah Palin, for being a buffoon then turned around and elected to that office a person who gives new meaning to the word moron.
At a recent meeting with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, the current U.S. Veep Joe Biden was asked by the Russian psychopath whether it wouldn’t be a good idea to let Russians waltz into the United States without visas. First Biden said “good idea!” then he said “Mr. Prime Minister, in case you haven’t noticed, there’s a real difference between being president and vice president.”
Only Joe Biden could cram so much utter stupidity into such a small space. He makes Sarah Palin look like Winston Churchill.
It’s actually hard to list all the ways Biden’s foolish utterance is wrong.
British diplomat Tony Brenton reveals the true horror of life in Vladimir Putin’s neo-Soviet state in the Daily Mail:
Should you get home to find the door to your flat unlocked from the inside, that’s just the FSB (the KGB’s successor) letting you know they called. If you pick up the phone to hear your voice played back, as I have, someone is recording your conversations. Such was my life in Russia during my time as a senior official and then as British Ambassador from 2004 to 2008.
Vladimir Kara-Murza, writing on World Affairs:
Russian officials have a selective approach to holidays. When it came to arrestingopposition leader Boris Nemtsov on New Year’s Eve and sentencing him on January 2 (a Sunday), no effort was spared. Yet when it came to hearing his appeal, Tverskoy Court remembered that January 1 to 10 is a period of vacation. By law, an appeal against administrative arrest must be heard within 24 hours. The former deputy prime minister has been in detention since December 31, but his appeal has still not been reviewed due to “holidays.” On January 8, another attempt to vindicate Nemtsov’s legal rights ended with Mr. Nemtsov’s lawyer, Timur Onikov, being escorted out by bailiffs. On January 11, the appeal was admitted as a priority case — by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Resurgent McCain blasts Neo-Soviet Russia
Can we have a word, Mr. Putin?
Last week Senator and presidential candidate John McCain gave us Russophobes an amazing early Christmas present, delivering a blistering attack on neo-Soviet Russia at one of the world’s most prestigious institutes of foreign policy, Johns Hopkins University. The speech was immediately touted by conservative pundits as a declaration of war by the newly empowered Republican Party upon the craven appeasement policies of the Obama adminstration.
McCain pulled no punches. He called for massive new shipments of arms to Georgia, condeming Russia for continuing “to occupy 20 percent of Georgia’s sovereign territory” and “building military bases there” and “permitting the ethnic cleansing of Georgians in South Ossetia, and denying access to humanitarian missions – all in violation of Russia’s obligations under the ceasefire agreement negotiated by President Sarkozy.” He openly mocked the Kremlin, stating: “The World Bank considers Georgia the 12th best place in the world to do business; Russia is 123rd. Russia’s decline is a human tragedy, but it is also a geopolitical reality. Put simply, Russia is becoming less and less capable of being a global, great power partner with the United States.”
And that was just for starters.
Walmart to Russia — Drop Dead!
We congratulate the executives at Walmart Inc. on their wisdom in deciding to reject the Russian market. We encourage the very small number of other Western companies who are considering investment in Russia, or who are already there, to do likewise. Western firms that do business in Russia are supporting the rise of a neo-Soviet state and therefore they are both undermining democracy in Russia, destroying the future of Russia’s children, and helping to create a dire new threat to the security of the West. History will judge them harshly, and conscientious Western citizens should boycott any firm they know to be doing business in Russia in order to send a clear message that such support is intolerable.
That’s to say nothing, of course, of the appalling risks of doing business in the KGB state run by proud KGB spy Vladimir Putin.
Posted in cold war II, corruption, economics, editorial, russia
Tagged ikea, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, russia, Sergei Magnitsky, vladimir putin, walmart, William Browder
Serpent Russians and their Forked Tongue
The world saw yet another horrifying example of the amazing duplicity, dishonesty and hypocrisy of which Russians are capable last week when the Kremlin’s Gestapo turned a blind eye to an unsanctioned protest by over 1,000 chanting nationalist goons.
Mother of Russian Anti-Corruption Lawyer Killed in Custody, Has Been Harassed in Moscow, Complaint Revealed Today
Nataliya Magnitskaya, mother of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky
3 December 2010 – The mother of Sergei Magnitsky, the Russian anti-corruption lawyer killed in police custody, has been harassed outside her home in Moscow since receiving, on behalf of her son, the 2010 Integrity Award from Transparency International two weeks ago. A team of people from the Russian television station NTV, who have interchangeably represented themselves both as realtors and as journalists, have followed Magnitsky’s mother, attempted to enter her house, carried out covert filming of her and intruded upon her with offensive questions. NTV is controlled by the Russian state-owned gas company, Gazprom.
A complaint about the abusive harassment of Sergei Magnitsky’s mother has been filed today by Sergei Magnitsky’s former partner, Jamison Firestone, with the Grand Jury of the Russian Union of Journalists (Russian version available at: http://russian-untouchables.com/docs/Letter%20to%20Journalist%20Union.pdf).
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.
More Blood on Vladimir Putin’s Hands!
The river of opposition blood continues to flow freely in the Russia ruled over by proud KGB spy Vladimir Putin. On Wednesday, Sergei Magnitsky perished in the Kremlin’s neo-Soviet gulag and the day before Ivan Khutorskoy was shot down on the Moscow streets outside the prison where Magnitsky breathed his last.