Tag Archives: Sergey Sobyanin

EDITORIAL: Sobyanin Cracks Down

EDITORIAL

Sobyanin Cracks Down

Finding a juicy hotdog lathered in ketchup has gotten a bit harder since Mayor Sergei Sobyanin took office. Forty of the 150 Stardog!s hotdog stands dotting Moscow have been shut down over the past week, and another 20 are expected to be closed shortly, said Sergei Rak, director for development with Markon, the private company that runs the Stardog!s chain.

— The Moscow Times, November 15, 2010

Moscow’s new mayor, it seems, is a cheeseburger man.  And he’s responded to his desires exactly the way Josef Stalin would have done if Moscow’s streets had been peppered with repugnant hot-dog stands in his time:  He’s shut them down.  The MT reports that Sobyanin’s minions “studied Markon’s leases for the hotdog stands in hope of finding errors that would justify their cancellation. Finding none, they said bluntly, ‘Close! At any rate, you are not going to work here anymore’.”  The MT continues:

A visit by Sobyanin to the Ulitsa 1905 Goda metro station during an Oct. 30 city tour promoted the kiosk crackdown. Sobyanin complained that the kiosks blocked the view of a historical monument and were located too close to the metro station. The head of the Presnensky district, where the metro station is located, was fired on the spot, together with the head of the central Tverskoi district. The official reason given for the dismissals was that the officials’ work contracts expired Nov. 8, RIA-Novosti reported.

Now we ask you, dear reader:  How is this behavior any different than Stalin’s would have been?  Is Russia’s really the type of economy that can afford to wipe out hundreds of thriving small businesses on a daily basis in an arbitrary, unpredictable, nakedly illegal manner, thus sending a clear message that setting up any such business is a gamble at best?

We think not.

Just a few weeks ago, Sobyanin had declared:  “Small and medium-sized businesses are in need of aid.”Referring to bureaucratic barriers for small business startups in Moscow, he said: “We should take them away. Then there will be a completely different investment climate.”  Any number of kiosks might have opened specifically in reliance on these words, only to have the rugged yanked out from under them just as the Russian regime has done to so may others, domestic and foreign alike, for so many years now.

EDITORIAL: Moscow’s New Crypto-Fascist Scumbag

EDITORIAL

Moscow’s New Crypto-Fascist Scumbag

Sergei Sobyanin

Deutsche-Welle, one of the best sources of reporting on Russia, has published a brilliant exposure piece on Sergei Sobyanin, the handpicked, unelected new mayor of the city of Moscow.

Here is what Sobyanin said after he was “elected” governor of Tyumen provience in 2000:  “There is opposition, look! Only 24 out of 25 deputies have voted for me.” Such a remark could easily have been made by a stooge of the Soviet empire, and indeed quite often was.  Now, Sobyanin has been placed in charge of one of the world’s largest cities by exectutive fiat of the Kremlin, and he will be its slave.  Democratic politics at the local level has been absolutely and finally extinguished, and it has been carried out by the so-called “liberal” reformer Dima Medvedev.

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