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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Now, Russian Military Officers Ask: "Why cut off a conscript's genitals when you can sell him into prostitution?"

The Moscow Times reports:

Male soldiers in St. Petersburg contend they were forced into prostitution by higher-ups, the soldiers' rights group Union of Soldiers' Mothers Committees said Monday.

A retired FSB general and a former colonel who is now a banker were among those who paid the soldiers for their services, Ella Polyakov of the union's St. Petersburg office said one of the soldiers told her. Military prosecutors said they were investigating the allegations, while Interior Ministry spokesman Vasily Panchenkov rebuked the union. The group's aim, Panchenko said, was not to "defend the rights of military personnel but to discredit the armed services."

The armed services have faced numerous cases of hazing in recent years. The case of 19-year-old Private Andrei Sychyov, whose genitals and legs were amputated after he was hazed, has drawn national attention to the plight of many conscripts. "Violent hazing results in the death of dozens of young soldiers every year, and serious injuries to thousands more," Human Rights Watch said in a report last year. Panchenko dismissed any talk of senior officials paying for sex supplied by young soldiers. A soldier serving in a brigade based on Millionaya Ulitsa told the Fontanka.ru news site that he and others were forced into service by longer-serving military personnel, who would provide the soldiers with client lists. Sometimes clients reportedly turned up at the base in the middle of the night to pick up soldiers. Polyakova, for her part, said two soldiers from the brigade, close to the Palace Square, were forced into prostitution. One filed an initial complaint in 2003, and the other did so this month, she added. "He said they were given a list of clients," Polyakova said, recalling what one of the soldiers had said. "If they didn't work, they were beaten."

Soldiers were reportedly paid as much as 1,000 rubles ($38) daily for selling themselves.

Polyakova cast doubt on some of the allegations. One of the young men who had reported that he had been forced into prostitution, "is just a country boy," she said. One soldier at the base was recently expelled for being HIV positive, and another was expelled for having hepatitis, Polyakova said. "They did not investigate how they caught these diseases," Polyakova said. Seventy soldiers who were discovered to be HIV positive were expelled from the Army in 2005, Pravda reported last year. Polyakova said she met with a high-placed official in the Leningrad military district Friday who had asked her to keep quiet about the matter. The brigade in question has featured in previous hazing allegations. A 2004 Human Rights Watch report quoted soldiers from the base complaining of being abused. In an investigation made public last summer, Sobesednik, a weekly news tabloid, reported that prostitution was widespread in the army. Certain bases, including one in charge of security for the General Staff based outside Moscow, had especially bad reputations for prostitution, the tabloid reported.

Ironically, as Gay.com reports, a bill is now pending in the Duma to re-criminalize homosexual activity itself, so these soliders when used up by their officers can then be conveniently imprisoned as free laborers:

Russia may pass legislation re-criminalising homosexuality, and possibly impose a five-year prison sentence for anyone found convicted of gay sex.

The new bill, introduced into Russia’s lower house on Monday, is nearly identical to the 1933 criminal code, until Stalin, which made homosexuality punishable by five years of hard labour. Deputy Nikolay Kuryanovich ‘s new legislation would revive Soviet law that would also essentiall ban gay pride parades or meetings. Gay sex was decriminalised in 1993 as a result of Communism’s fall, but up until the 1980s gays and lesbians were routinely committed to hospitals for reparative therapy, which involved taking psychotropic drugs. It is unclear how far Kuryanovich’s bill will get, as he doesn’t have any official party backing. The bill, however, has gained support from Communist supporters and the Russian Orthodox Church.

The bill marks another attempt from the government to suppress Russia's gay community. Last month Russian president blamed homosexuality for the country’s declining birth-rate while Moscow mayor Lushkov banned banned the city’s gay pride parade in May, branding it “satanic”. In January gay activists filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Moscow for banning last year’s pride parade at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. The lawsuit accuses Moscow of violating the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, the right to effective court protection and of violating prohibitions against discrimination under the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Russia is a participant. Despite Lushkov’s comment saying that pride parades “may be acceptable for some, in some sense, progressive countries in the West, but not for Russia”, he still maintains that he banned the pride parade because of security restrictions. Lushkov has also threatened to ban this year’s Mowscow pride, scheduled for May 2007. Gay rights groups said they will defy any ban, as they did last year.

10 comments:

FrankHew said...

Hey, not one single comment since you instituted your new policy? What's going on? I'd be interested to hear.

Cheers,
Frank

La Russophobe said...

Frankhew:

Hey, we'd be curious to know what makes you think we want to receive comments, as you seem to imply. We already had a highly restrictive comment policy that required membership in blogger before commenting. Now we've made it even more restrictive, disallowing all comments even from blogger members except after moderation, because of a childish attemt to spam the blog by Kremlin friends. If we wanted comments, wouldn't we do the opposite? Most communication we have with readers is by e-mail, and this generates roughly half the content of the blog. It virtually never happens that someone adds substantive content by means of a comment.

You should check out Michelle Malkin's blog sometime. It's one of the top ten blogs in the world. Comments are not allowed at any time by anyone. By contrast, check out the Daily Kos, which has hundreds of comments on each post. What's the point? Who's reading all of them? Certainly not the publisher!

If you have a look at other Russia blogs we admire, like David McDuff and Robert Amsterdam, you'll see that they also have few if any comments and highly restrictive posting policies. You might be interested to know that since we adopted our new policy our traffic has increased significantly and we logged our first day with over 600 visits to the blog.

We'd be interested to know if you can point us to a Russia blog where there is an active ongoing discussion between a large number of readers in the comments section. Can you? If not, maybe you'd like to try to create one. We'll be happy to support your effort if you do.

We have nothing against comments, but we couldn't care less whether we receive them or not, as we've said from day 1. The purpose of this blog is not to be a forum for discussion, it's to be a forum for information. We have far more daily traffic and far more Technorati links from blogs than any other blog of our kind in the world, plus over 60,000 Google links, but it's not our goal to generate traffic either. We just want to provide information, and we're satisified that we are accomplishing that.

Does that answer your question?

Having said that, we are only beta-testing our new policy, and might change it. So far, we haven't had any complaints except from the morons who wish to spam the blog. Are you complaining? Did you comment under the old policy?

We'd also like to point out that you yourself are unfortunately guilty of the type of conduct which causes us to think little of commenting. You're using this post as a means of communication with us (that's what our email is for) rather than as a means of commenting on the post's topic; we think it's a pity you missed your chance to say something useful about the topic of young Russian conscripts being sold into sex slavery and homosexuality being outlawed by the Duma.

none said...

Why a "freedom" media does not allow to leave comments? Not CNN not NYT not any western "free to lie" media does not have any forum. They are cowards; they fear that people can find truth in free discussing. Any "free" media just propaganda. La Russophobe are same coward and hypocrisy like all western media and try to hide truth and kill the "free speech" to "moderate" comment from spam.

In any russian media you can leave comment, make discussion except "last russian freedom media" the "Echo Moscow" who are closed his forums recently.

La Russophobe said...

NONE:

You are a brazen liar and a pathetic idiot. You degrade this blog with your stupidity.

First of all, there is your comment in black and white. If you check other posts on this blog (there are over 1,300 now) you will see HUNDREDS of comments including many that harshly criticize this blog. The post about "top ten reasons to hate Russia" ALONE has more nearly 100 comments.

Second, the only reason your comment does not appear immediately is because Russophile maniacs just like you used the availiability of that option to spam this blog. Do you think we need to allow you to post child pornography if you choose? Must we allow you to impersonate other commenters? Do we have to allow pornography? Of course not.

Third, your comment is totally devoid of substance and has NOTHING to do with this post, which is about sex slavery in Russia's conscript army. What's more, you have IGNORED our rule to give yourself a meaningful name. Yet, we have STILL published it, just to show what a total idiot you are.

Forth, both CNN and the New York Times have forums where readers can contribute comments. However, given the utterly empty comments you have offered, it is hard to see why they should keep doing so if most comments are like yours.

Do you REALLY think your comment would be likely to increase the freedom of comment? If so, you're even stupider than you appear.

La Russophobe said...

NONE responds:

"This is unpossible to degrade this blog as lowest as this to be. Do you have any other arguments except "idiot" and "pornography"? Many people said what you are wrong however you can't beat them in fair discussion just to call them Russophile and make them silent the same way as Putin with freedom of media in Russia. :) ps: You need to visit a doctor if you all time see pornography in comments.

LR Answers:

More ridiculous lies and hypocrisy. You complain that we attack you personally and then accuse us of being as bad as Putin and needing a doctor, and say we are so low we can't be degraded. You claim we make you silent, yet we publish you. You obviously don't even speak English, yet you feel you understand the contant and purpose of this blog. You claim we don't respnod to substance, but you offer NONE of your own. No facts, no links nothing of value. You claim we don't receive profanity in our comments, yet you write "bullsh*t" in your comment about "top 10 reasons to hate Russia."

You're an epic Russophile moron. Do you really think your comments will cause us to think differently and change our behavior? What you say merely confirms we are right. You're a walking stereotype of Russophile ignorance. A perfect example of how Russia has alienated the entire world and now stands alone. No wonder Russia loses 1 million from its population ever year and Russian men don't even live to the age of 60!

PS: Trust us, you're capable of degrading a slug's belly.

none said...

I just fear that you can't understand anything if I not use 'moron' or some else words that you use in any your comment. However you have good hypocrisy strategy: "I'm too aristocratic lady to use vulgar words like you, f*king Russophile moron". :)

However publish a web link where CNN.com allowed to comments to articles or just CNN.com forum or it is just other lie from you.

none said...

Union of Soldiers' Mothers Committees - these mothers do not have a sons, not that they are soldiers' mothers. This is typical 'not government' organisation for lie and propoganda. I do not understand why americans should care about russian soldiers then they have about 50.000 wounded GI from Iraq and Afganistan. American medicine is wonderful and doctors save many soldiers from death, K.I.A percent is low(just 3.100 dead) but most of these soldiers now are a cripples, without hands, eyes, legs and genitals. Now americans should care more about these heroes, they are killing iraq's children for Bush, democracy and 'free speech' but iraqis don't understand this. Maybe iraqis little russian? Russophobe please care more about heroes of your country, you can help them more that russian soldiers and russian gays.

La Russophobe said...

NONE:

Here is the blog for CNN's most important on-air personality Anderson Cooper. You are free to leave comments.

http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/anderson.cooper.360/blog/

There are many other such opportunities on the CNN site.

Please apologize.

La Russophobe said...

NONE:

You wrote: "Russophobe please care more about heroes of your country, you can help them more that russian soldiers and russian gays."

All through Soviet times, when a Russian problem appeared Soviets wanted to talk about American problems instead. And where is the USSR now? Do you want Russia to go to that same place? Do you hate Russia that much?

Love your Mother said...

To those who speak about the American Department of Defense, don't talk about what you know nothing about. For soldiers seriously wounded on the battle field, there is the option to return home. For amputees, there is generous compensation.
But the issue here is military prostitution and criminalizing of gay sex.
It's telling, in a 'democratic' country where gay rights are not protected, that military officials are selling off their personel. I cannot help but wonder how many of these have demanded 'services' themselves. This is a by-product of a culture that tries to limit liberties, people will continue to do what they want, but at the expense of others. As long as the Duma wants to criminalize gay activity, there will be a grey market for gay sex. Face it, gay people exist! If their rights are granted, then maybe they will get out of the army and get a real job, like acoounting or something a little more stylish, thereby increasing their chances of getting some the old fashioned way--by being interesting.
And this хуйня about gays being the reason the birth rate is down, ever consider alcoholism? How about the fact that most Russian men, at least the ones I've met, aren't fit to raise a child. They're more interested in vodka and casinos. There are bigger social problems in Russia that the gays, in fact, the gays might be a step toward making Russia a better place to live for everybody. At least the gays no a little something about love, caring, friendship, and not beating up and selling off your employees. As long as the Russian military thinks of their enlistees as expendable, non-human commodities, the system will stay in shambles. Russia and the USSR have undervalued human life for ages. Until She begins to value her people, the Russian Federation will continue to sink into self-destruction.