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Monday, November 27, 2006

Fighting Spirit Not Yet Destroyed in Russia

Despite the somber news in the post above, reader Jeremy Putley points to an AP item (reported as well in the Russian daily Ezhedevniy Zhurnal) that shows all hope for Russia is not lost:

Two protesters [pictured above] rappelled off a bridge near the Kremlin on Thursday and hung a banner criticizing President Vladimir Putin's government for recent changes to election law.

The protesters — one of whom was the daughter of former Prime Minster Yegor Gaidar — unfurled a 50-foot (15 meter) banner reading "Return The Elections to the People, Bastards!" and hung from the Bolshoi Kamensky Bridge for more than 30 minutes before police and emergency workers hauled them up and detained them.

Organizers said the protest was in response to last week's vote by the Russian parliament's lower house, which gave preliminary approval to scrapping minimum turnout requirements for elections to be pronounced valid.

Critics said the legislation, which will go through a third and final vote in coming weeks, was the latest effort by the Kremlin toward tightening its grip on Russia's political life.

Ivan Bolshakov, head of the youth wing of the liberal Yabloko party, blamed Putin's supporters in government — many of whom are veterans or employees of Russia's intelligence agencies. They are known sometimes as "chekists," after the first Soviet security agency and predecessor to the KGB, the Cheka.

"An authoritarian regime has been established in the country; the chekists have come to power again," Bolshakov told APTV. "They are in the presidential administration, on the TV channels, in major Russian companies. They control everything. ... And they also control the elections, as it used to be during Soviet times."

In recent years, Putin's government has pushed legislation that scrapped the direct election of regional leaders, barred voters from casting ballots "against all" candidates and increased the minimum proportion of votes required for a party to gain a parliamentary seat.

Basically, it seems, as long as Vladimir Putin himself goes to the polls on election day and votes for himself, the results will be valid. That is, unless a lot more Russians start dangling off bridges and a lot more Westerners start applauding a lot more loudly when they do.


winsc2 said...

It's good to see....

However, that "Fighting Spirit" has other targets too. Masha Gaidar is rabidly anti-West and adopts a viewpoint on the governments of America and the UK which is little different than the one usually touted by George Galloway and his hard-left friends in the Socialist Workers Party.

Of course we delight in the stunt she and Ilya Yashin pulled off - let's not be mealy-mouthed about that. But as for the rest? Would that it were so simple.

La Russophobe said...

WINNY: How right you are. And the sad thing is that this fact is used, not without some justification, to argue for leaving Putin in place because whatever comes after him is bound to be worse. It only goes to show that, as in Iraq, it's not enough just to cut off the head of the beast, you have to build a new one and sew it on firmly. Unfortunately, Dr. Frankenstein is nowhere to be found and Russia just keeps sinking deeper into the mire. However, if we'd just been more vigilent when the wall fell instead of lapsing into paroxysms of rapture, maybe we wouldn't be in this fix right now. This is where "tolerance and respect" will get you.

On the other hand, there's always the old adage that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

winsc2 said...

Well m'dear... I incline to think that we must be careful to remember that in many cases our enemy's enemy is our friend only until we have no mutual enemy (as in Afghanistan). Then we had better watch our backs.

Russian anti-west xenophobia is not only the preserve of the Kremlin, which is a shame because they all underestimate the huge amount to goodwill many of us over here have towards them over there.

pip pip!

La Russophobe said...

Tis only too true. One thing Russia definitely does not lack is the ability to top itself in the outrage and atrocity department. Given the chance, I'm sure they could have made Stalin look like Gandhi, and yet still may.

Isn't Kasparov conspicuous by his silence? Think he's scared?

17 ugly raccoons said...

LR, ask him yourself, if you dare. I'd really want to see result of this.

BTW, as promised, I wrote about you in my blog, links appeared here already.

La Russophobe said...

UGLY: That's great! I welcome you to the community of Russia bloggers. Now can you post a link from your blog where you criticize Putin so as to document your claim that you're "anti-Putin"?

As for Kasparov, how exactly to you propose I "ask" him? Care to give me his e-mail?

17 ugly raccoons said...

Your welcome is quite late. Thanks anyway.

You may start to search my blog for tag глум. You may find some political satires linked to some events (and some laugh at idiotic US citizens too, btw).

Here's tale 'Elections 20xx'.

Here's tale 'Tragedy of power'

Here's tale 'Fur'

Here and here is tale 'Counter-measures'.

And here's last tale 'Everyday life of ideologist'.

That's tagged tales where Putin is mentioned (there were others but I didn't use tags then). Other faces of power... there will be too much links.

Kasparov's mail? Are you joking? If you need to connect him, use . Of course, there is no garantee he will ever read your mail (he obviously hasn't sense of humour), but it is good start.

La Russophobe said...

UGLY: I didn't ask where you MENTIONED him I asked where you CRITICIZED him. You know, said that a specific policy was wrong and blamed him for it. And I mean a post whose PURPOSE is to do that, not one that mentions him in passing. Sorry if I confused you. Please give me ONE LINK to what you think is your single toughest criticism of Putin. Then I'll decide whether you were lying or not.

La Russophobe said...

UGLY: How do you know Kasparov's e-mail pratices? Have you ever written to him? How do you know whether he has a sense of humor? Have you ever had a conversation with him?

17 ugly raccoons said...

LR, I understood from your posts your ideas of satire and criticism are childish. Just read these tales, if you can, then decide for yourself - is it criticism of regime and Putin or not. Or ask someone who read Russian better than you (I am sure there are plenty of such people).

You know, said that a specific policy was wrong and blamed him for it.

Oh my. It is useless, and I am not doing useless things. I said here and I am repeating here (and in my blog too) - whole system should be changed. Do you really think Putin as person being criticized over some question will change relevant policy or relevant systems even if he wants to do it? Maybe you believe in magic and Santa-Claus too? You are naive.

OK, read this and decide for yourself.

About Putin's TV press-conference:

About new pro-Kremlin party:

About 10-year political perspective of current regime:

About 'anti-democratic' (as you could say) tendencies in internal politics:

About immigration policy:

About Georgian question (heheh):

About Kondopoga events:

Pick any. And try to find words of agreement with current regime of Russia.

Problem is, I am not howling, mentally challenged, self-imposted prophet crusading in circles. I am doing useful work for my cause.

Oh, and about Kasparov. I said I don't know his e-mail practices - that's why I said there is no garantee he will read your mail. I never written to him. I know he has no sense of humor, because of some idiotic statements he'd done without smile. No, I never had conversation with him. Happy?

La Russophobe said...

I didn't ask for posts that show no words of agreement, I asked for posts that show DIRECT CRITICISM OF PUTIN because YOU SAID YOU WERE AGAINST PUTIN.

I asked for one, I read the first one. There's not a single word in this post that critizes Vladmir Putin.

You know, Stalin was happy to have people criticize members of his adminsitration when he wanted to kill one of them, but that didn't make those who made the criticism "anti-Stalin". In fact, they were PRO Stalin, very much so, doing his bidding.

I have seen no evidence that you are against Putin. Therefore, I conclude you lied about that.

La Russophobe said...

UGLY: Here's the response I got when I sent an email to the address you suggested:

"Hi. This is the qmail-send program at I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses. This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out."

Your reliability is up to your usual standards, I must say.

17 ugly raccoons said...

I asked for one, I read the first one. There's not a single word in this post that critizes Vladmir Putin.

OK, LR, you have no idea what you read. I admit text is too complicated for your appaling Russian skills, knowledge of Russian literature and capability to understand, but you asked for it.

You know, Stalin was happy to have people criticize members of his adminsitration when he wanted to kill one of them, but that didn't make those who made the criticism "anti-Stalin".

LR, don't tell these idiotic stories to me, I don't read comic books with paper villains. Spook your moronic compatriots. BTW, it hasn't any touch with the matter of topic you did read, another proof you not understood its meaning.

I have seen no evidence that you are against Putin. Therefore, I conclude you lied about that.

You not understood what you read. Nothing of surprise, giving your low intellectual level and lack of knowledge in relevant matters. It is very hard explain meaning of 'color' to blind person.