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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Putin Sssssspeaks (Over a Forked Tongue)

Some facts about "President" Vladimir Putin's February 1 "press conference" in Moscow:

The transcript of the proceedings comprises 25,426 words. Not one of them came from a reporter from Novaya Gazeta. So much for the idea that a "press conference" occurred.

Putin stated: "Wages rose by 13.3 percent on average, real incomes increased by ten percent from last year’s base, and old-age pensions rose by 5.4 percent." But later he stated "For the first time in modern Russian history we had single-digit inflation – 9 percent - in 2006. It is very good to see that this was precisely what we forecast." If wages rise by 13% and inflation is at 9%, doesn't that mean real wages increased by 4%, not 10%? And do you notice that Putin doesn't care to express the wage growth in monetary terms, but rather only in percentages? Guess why: If the average wage is $400 per month, then 13.3% growth is only $53.20 of additional income per month, less than $2 per day, and that's before taking into account inflation. The same thing occurred when Putin spoke about economic growth. He stated: "We will get the final result for 2006 only in March, but various estimates suggest GDP growth of approximately 6.7-6.9 percent for last year." What he doesn't say is that 7% growth on an economic base of $750 billion only amounts to $52.5 billion spread out among a population of 140 million people -- that's just $375 per person, about a dollar a day. So much for the idea that a transfer of information occurred.

Putin was asked "Vladimir Vladimirovich, when President Yeltsin was in power, he had the habit of naming his successors. Under your rule, it’s quite the opposite and you have not yet named any names." He answered: "You used the word ‘rule’. I do not rule, I simply do my work." This is like a scoop of (decaying rat-flavored) ice cream saying "I am not cold, I just spend all my time in the freezer. I don't taste bad, I'm just made from rat entrails."

The word "murder" was used by only one questioner, never by a Russian reporter. It appears in this exchange:

STEVEN GUTTERMAN (Associated Press): After Anna Politkovskaia’s murder you said that there are people hiding from Russian justice who would like to damage Russia’s reputation. And after Aleksandr Litvinenko’s death your aide Sergei Yastrzhembsky said that this could be part of a plot with that same goal. Can you now tell us a few more details, several months after the tragedy, or say more precisely who you think is behind these murders? Do you think they are foreigners or Russians living abroad? And if yes, then who? Can you name them?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Only an investigation can determine whoever is behind these murders. And moreover only a court can do so, because at the end of the day it is the court that, having weighed all the pro and contra – both the prosecutors’ arguments and the defense of the accused – makes the final decision. As to prominent murders, then it is true that the problem of the persecution of journalists is a very acute problem both for our country and for many other countries. And we acknowledge our responsibility in this. We shall do everything possible to protect members of the press. I recall not only Anna Politkovskaia – she was quite a sharp critic of the authorities and that is a good thing. I recall other journalists as well, including Paul Khlebnikov. And not long ago one of our American partners said something very true: “Paul Khlebnikov died for a democratic Russia, for the development of democracy in Russia”. I completely agree with him. I fully agree with this evaluation. As to other well-known crimes, you know that just recently the investigation into the murder of the Vice-President of the Russian Central Bank has been finished. I very much hope that the law enforcement agencies will manage to find the criminals who have committed other, no less prominent crimes, and ones that are no less harmful to our country.With regards to Litvinenko, I do not have much to add here, except what I have already said. Aleksandr Litvinenko was dismissed from the security services. Before that he served in the convoy troops. There he didn’t deal with any secrets. He was involved in criminal proceedings in the Russian Federation for abusing his position of service, namely for beating citizens during arrests when he was a security service employee and for stealing explosives. I think that he was provisionally given three years. But there was no need to run anywhere, he did not have any secrets. Everything negative that he could say with respect to his service and his previous employment, he already said a long time ago, so there could be nothing new in what he did later. I repeat that only the investigation can tell us what happened. And with regards to the people who try to harm the Russian Federation, in general it is well-known who they are. They are people hiding from Russian justice for crimes they committed on the territory of the Russian Federation and, first and foremost, economic crimes. They are the so-called runaway oligarchs that are hiding in western Europe or in the Middle East. But I do not really believe in conspiracy theories and, quite frankly, I am not very worried about it. The stability of Russian statehood today allows us to look down at this from above.

Note well: He didn't name a single one of the "enemies" responsible for attacking Russia, nor did he name a single specific measure his regime would take to protect journalists. And note that this question only comes from a foreigner. The Committee to Protect Journalists has just named Russia the most dangerous country not at war in the entire world for the practice of journalism. So much for Putin's laughably dishonest statement that "the problem of the persecution of journalists is a very acute problem both for our country and for many other countries." Russia stands alone in this regard. CPJ states: "Russia has the worst record of impunity among countries in the region. It is also the third deadliest country for journalists worldwide, according to Deadly News, a CPJ analysis of deaths over the past 15 years. Only Iraq, and Algeria when it was riven by civil war, outrank it."

The word "Chechnya" was used only once, here:

SULTAN GALBATSOV (Democracy newspaper, Chechen Republic): In the Chechen Republic more than 70 percent of the available labour force is unemployed. In light of the positive results of the amnesty and the region’s importance, could you please tell us, Vladimir Vladimirovich, what measures are being foreseen to create new jobs? Thank you.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: First of all, I would like to point out that the present government and the Prime Minister of the Chechen Republic were able to accomplish a great deal lately. I watched how the present government worked in Chechnya attentively. I must say that what is happening there is even unexpected. We are witnessing the mobilization of citizens living in Chechnya and there is an obvious desire for a religious peace, to restore order, for discipline, the rule of law, and economic revival. And there are simply visible results of this effort. But of course we still have a lot that we can and must do. We have the corresponding programmes to develop the productive forces. I must say that today the Chechen Republic receives more from the federal budget than other regions in the Russian Federation, including regions in the Northern Caucasus. We intend to continue this policy in the future. I am not going to go into detail here because it would simply not be interesting for everyone (I know it involves a brick factory, cement, and so on). We are going to support what is called for, expedient and agreed upon with the federal authorities.
When he says "I must say that today the Chechen Republic receives more from the federal budget than other regions in the Russian Federation, including regions in the Northern Caucasus" he's talking about money spent on security forces for the terrorizing of the Chechen population, not investment.

Photo credit: The cartoon of Vladimir Putin that accompanies this article comes from the website of American neo-Nazi David Duke. David is a big, big fan of DyaDya Vladimir. This is no doubt so because extremist crimes of racist violence are dramatically up in Russia under Putin.

6 comments:

Zog said...

Putin stated: "Wages rose by 13.3 percent on average, real incomes increased by ten percent from last year’s base, and old-age pensions rose by 5.4 percent." But later he stated "For the first time in modern Russian history we had single-digit inflation – 9 percent - in 2006. It is very good to see that this was precisely what we forecast." If wages rise by 13% and inflation is at 9%, doesn't that mean real wages increased by 4%, not 10%? And do you notice that Putin doesn't care to express the wage growth in monetary terms, but rather only in percentages? Guess why: If the average wage is $400 per month

This is growth of REAL wage, not NOMINAL. Do you understand, bitch, the difference between REAL and NOMINAL?

The nominal growth was over 20%, and real was 13.3%.

And the average wage was over 500; in december, 2006. Not 400$ as you wrote, bitch!

Zog said...

I'm sorry, bitch, not the growth of real wage but the REAL growth of wage, not nominal growth.

La Russophobe said...

ZOG:

You attack me for allegedly making a mistake then need two posts to correctly state your own position. Nice.

Your pathetically childish need to repeat the word "bitch" over and over again shows your lack of eduction and the emptiness of your points. You discredit yourself simply by opening your mouth, you crude little thug.

Where is your source for your claim that the average wage was $500? I have cited Russian government authority that the average wage in 2006 was $390 per month. If you wish to challenge that, do so with source material or else your claim is to be dismissed as stupid, childish and silly.

Putin said "real incomes increased by 10%." He said "wages rose by 13.3% on average." But he said that inflation was 9%. If the nominal wage was up 22.3% (as you imply) and this was reduced by inflation of 9% to a real wage of 13.3%, then where does the 10% come from? You haven't even come close to explaining the discrepency, you ape-like cretin. Both you and Putin are spouting gibberish. It's clear neither of you has the vaguest idea of what you are talking about because the Russian people never call your yammerings to account.

What's more, where is your source for your claim that "nominal growth" was "over 20%" (why don't you give an exact figure)?

La Russophobe said...

ZOG: Profanity is not tolerated on this blog. If you wish to comment, refrain from it. All future posts containing profanity will be deleted.

Cyrill said...

La Russophobe, thank you for attracting this latest crop of posters. They more or less confirm what I have noticed myself - how close contemporary Russian culture is to the black urban ghetto culture in the US. Besides obvious: lawlessness, excessive use of substances (drug and alcohol), propensity to wear gaudy tasteless clothes, lust for finger-thin gold chains and overall everything that shines - some of them now develop affinity for the ghetto vocabulary expressed here.

La Russophobe said...

Hi Cyrill, and thanks for the comment. I noticed that myself, it's quite unsettling -- especially in light of their likely racist inclinations. I once heard a Russian youth excoriating America on a Russian TV talk show, and then the host asked why he was wearing blue jeans. On the one hand it's kind of encouraging that this is the nature of Mad Vlad's support. On the other, it's quite an obstacle for any progressive reformer to overcome.