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Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Sunday Photos: Marina Litvinovich, Russian Patriot















If you don't know Marina Litvinovich (above, pictured), you should. For starters, there's no page in Wikipedia about her, and somebody should consider writing one (being a crusader, La Russophobe herself is not a suitable candidate, too easily accused of bias). For another, there are only 500 hits for her name on Google. La Russophobe has 20,000. That's a cosmic outrage. Her only defense against Kremlin violence is notoriety and direct support from the West, clearly indicating there will be a price to pay if she is harmed. This must begin now. We are responsible. Her name and story needs to be injected into the mainstream media, where she has had virtually no recognition. That's negligence on their part, plain and simple.

Marina is a genuine Russian patriot and hero, in the mold of Anna Politkovskaya and Lidia Yusupova (isn't it an interesting pattern that so many modern Russian heroes are female?). She operates a blog (in Russian) called Abstrict2001 at Live Journal and has a played a number of significant roles in the modern Russian political debate. She has served as chief of staff to Irina Khakamada, liberal legislator. She is a key advisor to liberal presidential challenger Garry Kasparov. She publishes a website called The Truth About Beslan (also in Russian) in which she investigates the Kremlin coverup of its outrageous conduct during the Beslan hostage crisis. Like Politkovskaya, she has defiantely probed the truth about Beslan by interviewing key figures involved in the events and publishing their accounts. She's been arrested by the Kremlin for taking part in public protests over its conduct regarding Beslan and she's participated in wide variety of other protests, including those to oppose the cruelty of hazing in Russia's military. Finally, she heads the Aid to Victims of Terror Foundation, whose work has been praised by Freedom House. In other words, she does more in any given day (indeed, any hour) to serve the interests of Russia than Vladimir Putin will do in his entire lifetime.

For her service to her country, Marina has been repaid in the classic Russian manner: Brutal physical assault by cowards in the darkness. On Monday, March 20, 2006, for instance Marina was attacked from behind as she headed her car just after 9 pm. She had valuables on her person which were left untouched. Here's how Masha Gessen described the incident:

Monday night, Kasparov's right-hand person, the political consultant Marina Litvinovich, left the United Civil Front office just after 9. About an hour later, she opened her eyes to discover that she was lying on a cellar awning and someone was trying to ascertain if she was all right. She was not: She had apparently been knocked unconscious by a blow or several blows to the head. She had been badly beaten, was bruised all over, and was missing two of her front teeth. Nothing had been taken from her: not her notebook computer or cell phone or money. She spent three or four hours in the emergency room that night, and she spent another three or four at the police station the following day. She found the police to be extraordinarily polite and considerate -- and, as the organizer of many of Kasparov's public speaking events and any number of protests, Litvinovich is something of an expert on police behavior. Some higher-up had apparently been sent down to the station to handle her case. At the same time, she told me, "I am not stupid and I could see what they were getting at: that I was just walking down the street and passed out. That I must be in poor health." Litvinovich is 31 years old and healthy. "And that I fell in such an unfortunate manner that I got bruised all over." Litvinovich has a bruise on her leg that, the doctors told her, was probably caused by a blow with a rubber baton. The police suggested it may have been a car bumper. Litvinovich pointed out that her clothes were so clean that she was wearing the same trousers and coat the following day. She clearly was not hit by a Moscow car. Moreover, this is one of several signs that she was attacked by professionals: She must have been held while she was beaten, then laid carefully on the awning on which she found herself. In other words, the attack was a message. The pristine execution and the fact that Litvinovich's valuables were not touched serve to underscore this. So what's the content of this message? Another young political consultant, an up-and-coming member of the Kremlin's Public Chamber, Alexei Chadayev, put the message forward in his blog: "Women should not be in this line of work. ... Marina is on the warpath, and no one ever said this war would be conducted according to rules." This is this country's ruling regime speaking. Its message is crude: as simple as a rubber baton, as brutal as a blow to a young woman's face. If you are going to oppose the Kremlin, it is saying, this will happen to you.
That wasn't the first time Marina has been physically attacked, proving the power of her work and the utter cowardice and impotence of those who oppose her, who cannot face her on any remotely civilized terms and can only resort to the crude violence of an animal.

Like Politkovskaya, Marina is also working to document the horrors of the Kremlin's conduct in Chechnya. Reader Jeremy Putley directs us to some recent photos she has taken there, documenting the Kremlin's total failure to rebuild the country after its brutal assault.



A building in the center of downtown Grozny,
Capital of Chechnya, Spring 2006, with Marina in the foregoround.


Another such building.


Marina writes: "In Grozny the people live in half-wrecked houses. Bomb craters are the only places left vacant. Any building somehow left standing contains occupants, even where there are gigantic voids in the structure that make them unsuitable and unsafe for living. The city is full of waste piles and rats, and the homes are without utilities or sanitary facilities."

An interior from such a "home."

A billboard urges Chechens to "crawl out of the darkness, it's time to pay your taxes."
Marina adds: "It's also time to rebuild their homes."

You can find other photographs of Chechnya, including these, taken by Marina here, here and here.

13 comments:

superstar said...

good picture

17 ugly raccoons said...

A billboard urges Chechens to "crawl out of the darkness, it's time to pay your taxes."

'It's time to come out from shadow, it's time to pay taxes' (standard slogan for any Russian region).

La Russophobe said...

UGLY: Perhaps its the fact that you can't understand how inappropriate it is to have this "usual" sign in Chechnya, where the Kremlin has betrayed the citizenry, that explains why Chechens continue to kill Russians at an alarming rate, and why Russia stands alone as a pariah in the civilized world.

La Russophobe said...

SUPERSTAR: Thanks!

17 ugly raccoons said...

LR: I pointed you lied in translation, and you are going on another round of babbling accusations.

Perhaps its the fact that you can't understand how inappropriate it is to have this "usual" sign in Chechnya, where the Kremlin has betrayed the citizenry,

It's territory under souvereignty of Russia. Souvereignty includes obeying the law. Law requires to pay taxes. All is correct. And you, miss bliss, have not a slightest idea what did happen in Chechnya before first chechen war started, or you are just lying when telling 'Kremlin has betrayed the citizenry'.

that explains why Chechens continue to kill Russians at an alarming rate

Don't smoke such weed too often.

and why Russia stands alone as a pariah in the civilized world.

Who cares about 'civilized world' and its lame self-proclaimed prophets like you? Trade with us or fight with us, it's your choice, but remember - your words are worthless for us. So whine as much as you want, we'll not buy it.

La Russophobe said...

UGLY:

You really need to study English better, dear. It's clear you haven't got the slightest understanding of the difference between "lie" and "mistake" and "difference of opinion." Given that your English is so poor, I really REALLY don't think you're in any position to be the arbiter of how Russian should be rendered in that language.

The only difference between my translation and your translation is that you say "come out of the shadow" and I say "crawl out of the darkness." If you think there is some significant substantive difference between "crawl" and "come" and between "darkness" and "shadow," you certainly don't explain what it might be, in your classically ignorant manner. Hence, I ignore your suggestion.

I say again, the fact that you can defend the existence of this sign on Chechen territory that Russia has failed to rebuild and yet demands taxes from while the people live in abject poverty only goes to prove how utterly hopeless Russia is, doomed to oblivion. You just simply haven't got a clue.

17 ugly raccoons said...

It's clear you haven't got the slightest understanding of the difference between "lie" and "mistake"

So you said your Russian is worse than my English. So much competence from you about matters you writing.

The only difference between my translation and your translation is that you say "come out of the shadow" and I say "crawl out of the darkness." If you think there is some significant substantive difference between "crawl" and "come" and between "darkness" and "shadow," you certainly don't explain what it might be

You didn't ask then, but I accept your late apologies, heh.

'Выйти' literally means 'to walk out', not 'to crawl out'. I understand now you citizens of so-called 'free world' can't make 'some significant substantive difference' between walking and crawling, but that's not my problem. I was soft on you and translated выйти as 'come out', such translation preserved sense enough. But if you insist...

About 'darkness' and 'shadow'. In Russian language there is a term 'теневая экономика' (shadow economic), to which aforementioned slogan referring. So in this case there is difference between translations 'shadow' and 'darkness' besides obvious semantic difference, of which even you should be aware.

Hence, I ignore your suggestion.

It wasn't suggestion, I didn't urge you to correct your lie-or-mistake. I just translated banner correctly. Your defiance making this matter even funnier.

yet demands taxes from while the people live in abject poverty

Exactly. We are not owing Chechens one kopek. They should've been thinking better before 1994. Now they are subjects of Russian (российский) law. Law demands taxes - these taxes are going to rebuilding this region, and there is substantional help from Russia - Chechnya isn't self-supporting region. But Chechens have no right not to pay their due.

how utterly hopeless Russia is, doomed to oblivion. You just simply haven't got a clue.

I know about Russia more than you ever would know. You are stranger and foolish one, bottom feeder from incompetent and biased media. I wonder if you have some personal grudge against Russians, that'd explain much.

Penny said...

Raccoons, you are every bit the animal that your moniker suggests. How apt of you to choose it, ugly + raccoon, hilarious on so many levels.

It's amusing the non-important trivia that you pick fights over versus the facts you fail to counter.

I'll repeat again that you aren't very well educated or well traveled. I picture you holed up in your crappy Moscow apartment seething at your failed life, a little fury fascist, fearful of risk, fearful of ideas, fearful of humanity. You leave paw prints in your drivel...."I know about Russia more than you ever would know".... "you citizens of so-called 'free world'"...."Who cares about 'civilized world'"...by your own words you really are an idiotic Russian redneck.

Poor little furry fascist, Ivan the Stupid, have you ever been out of your cage? But, you are fun as the daily show as Russia's Idiotarian Troll.

Here's a piece of advice Ivan the "Ugly", life and the relationship of nations hardly hinge on taxes owed, you fool. Raccoons in the US tend to have a high incidence of rabies and in cities are considered sewer creatures, nice moniker, but, perhaps someone else chose it for you. Who pays for your daily bread, sweetie? Got a job? Ooops, you couldn't be a paid state hack, that would be too funny. Ivan, the Raccoon.....?

17 ugly raccoons said...

penny: so, at last you admitted I am Russian, resigning from you former theories. I am glad.

'I picture you'

I can't answer in kind, I did eat not long ago.

I don't know what do you mean by 'failed life', 'fearful of risk, fearful of ideas, fearful of humanity' - all these things may be defined different by different persons, so I'll not even argue, I just know you are wrong, because I not consider my life as such and I know my life better than you (if you'll argue THAT, then I'll throw you away from my wardrob, and it's cold now on the streets).

Your shining counter-arguments like 'you really are an idiotic Russian redneck' are noted, conclusions of your intellectual level made.

Thanks for calling me 'Ivan' repeatedly. You know, we Russians have only one association with such behavior - Nazi occupants called Russians 'Ivans' in face-to-face talk. If by such you tried to counter my former claim some Westerners are latent Nazis towards Russians, you failed. Congratulations.

life and the relationship of nations hardly hinge on taxes owed

I know. But Chechens are not a nation by all definitions, so drop dead.

Who pays for your daily bread, sweetie?

Me.

Got a job?

Yes, and interesting one. Thanks for question.

Ooops, you couldn't be a paid state hack, that would be too funny.

Even funnier than your one-cellular parody on reasonings? Then I'll apply to that job, because I like fun.

L'Observatrice said...

O God. Don't you have a more sexy picture of Marina? I hardly recognised her. Or is it after she has been attacked?

magnuscaleb said...

yeah read about her in the monocle magazine...such a great personality she is,

kinda hard to find her info in the net...so thanks to you

cheers

Candide said...

Dear Hostess,

You really need to calm down. '17 u r' simply corrected your wrong translation and you went into a veritable spitting fury.

Btw, if you seriously think that what happens in Russia is a revival of Neo-Soviet state you have a lot to learn.

I give you a hint: You need to learn about 'state capitalism' as practiced by Tsarist gov't before Communist coup and about strongmen junta regimes such as Franco and Pinochet.

steven nicholls said...

I feel good that the work here is to help educate people about the problems in and around Russia. I have been studying as much as I can to educate myself and to be objective into what I believe to be right and proper. It is only through IGNORANCE that we surrender our FREEDOM!

keep up the good work most of us that live in the West understand but feel helpless in helping to do what is right.

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -and a lot of courage- to move in the opposite direction".
Albert Einstein