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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Russia Profile: The Dark Side of the Force?

The above banner is a paid advertisement currently running on the RIA Novosti website. Click on the banner, and you are directed to the website of Russia Profile and specifically to the following announcement:

Panel Discussion with Former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Gerhard Schroeder, and Aide to the President of the Russian Federation and former G8 Sherpa, Igor Shuvalov. For more information or to register, please contact Katja Wall at gus@dgap.org or by fax at +49 / 30 / 254 231 68. Registration is a must in order to participate in the discussion.
So basically, it's an advertisement for the Kremlin.

As reported yesterday on La Russophobe, Shuvalov and the demented, evil Schroeder are teaming up to try and shield the Kremlin from blame in the Litvinenko and Politkovskaya killings with a disgusting propaganda campaign -- and Russia Profile is sponsoring it (here's their writeup of the proceedings)! That pretty much tells you all you need to know about Russia Profile, but there are one or two additional details to consider.

What exactly is Russia profile? It's published by Independent Media, the entity also responsible for the brilliant Moscow Times, in cooperation with David Johnson's Center for Defense Information, RIA Novosti, and something called the International Relations and Security Network of Zurich Switzerland. It maintains a blog by one Dmitry Babich, which offers such posts as "Whose Double Standards: Far from showing Russia’s unreliability as an energy supplier, Gazprom’s recent threats to suspend natural gas exports to Belarus have only exposed the hypocrisy of the West" and one claiming that since Yegor Gaidar stated publicly that the Kremlin didn't try to kill him, that made it a fact and Gaidar man "worthy of respect." No mention of the possiblity that Gaidar might have caved in to Kremlin threats.

Russia Profile's "Advisory Board" includes the Rector of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Chairman of the International Affairs Committee, State Duma of the Russian Federation. In other words, it's a Russophile propaganda outlet in boring, yawn-inducing clothing. It maintains an "Experts Panel" feature that provides a token Russophobe voice surrounded by a sea of Russophiles and Russian nationalists. In the most recent intallment, entitled "Friendless in Moscow: Does Russia Need Allies?" the lead entry is from the lunatic Russophile Eric Kraus, a stockbroker who spends most of his time convincing hapless foreigners that Russia is a great place to plop down their money (yet never mentions this conflict of interest when he tells us how great Russia is and how benign and wise is that malignant little troll Vladimir Putin).

Possibly, Independent Media has set up Russia Profile as a way of counterbalancing the Russophobic Moscow Times, which in fact is doing nothing more that just reporting the news. Perhaps they hope that by doing so they can stave off the day when the KGB arrives at the Moscow Times offices and places the whole shooting match under arrest. On the other hand, perhaps the publishers simply haven't got the slightest freakin' clue what the hell is going on over there. Maybe somebody should write to
Stephan Grootenboer, Independent Media's publisher, and tell him. The token Russophobe is Leon Aron, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute. Perhaps he too should be told about what is going on under his watch.


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