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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Vladimir "Naglost" Putin

Robert Amsterdam has posted an excerpt of an article from the Wall Street Journal which gives various examples of "naglost" (hypocrisy) on the part of Russian "President" Vladmir Putin:

The nearest equivalent the Russian language has for the word chutzpah is naglost. In you, Vladimir Putin, the Russian nation has found the embodiment of naglost.

Naglost: During the question-and-answer session following your speech on Saturday to the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy, you were asked about the Oct. 7 murder (your birthday, Mr. President) of muckraking journalist Anna Politkovskaya. You never quite got around to uttering her name. But you did helpfully point out that in the past 18 months "the largest number of journalists were killed in Iraq."

Truth: True. But Moscow is not a war zone.

Naglost: Your speech in Munich contained a curious broadside against the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which you denounced for "imposing a regime that determines how these states should live and develop."

: That may not have been the most eye-catching of your comments, but it was the most revealing. Among its other benign functions, the OSCE bureaucracy monitors elections among its 56 members. That never raised an eyebrow until the OSCE raised a red flag over the Ukrainian election of November 2004, which had been rigged in favor of your preferred candidate, Viktor Yanukovych. The OSCE's verdict was crucial to having the results overturned and a new election called. You've never forgiven it. Since then, the OSCE's election-monitoring office has come under a relentless barrage of criticism from your foreign ministry and from other former Soviet republics with questionable democratic credentials, all with the view to putting the monitors under your political control.

"In the energy sector Russia intends to create uniform market principles and transparent conditions for all," you said on Saturday. "It is obvious that energy prices must be determined by the market instead of being the subject of political speculation, economic pressure or blackmail."

: Perhaps you define the words "market principles," "transparent" and "blackmail" differently in Russia than we do in the West. In December, the Russian government offered transparently phony environmental reasons -- "unauthorized tree felling" -- to force Royal Dutch Shell to relinquish control of its $20 billion Sakhalin-2 oil-and-gas project. In January, state-owned Gazprom used the threat of supply disruptions to gain control over Belarus's gas-pipeline network. This month, state prosecutors filed new charges against former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky that will keep him in a Siberian gulag past the 2008 elections. Could you tell us just what might be in store for March?


db said...

Naglost' (наглость) is not hypocrisy, it's more like impudence or chutzpah.

db said...

Oops, scrap my previous comment. I should have read the post more carefully.

La Russophobe said...


Thanks for the comment and for noting your error. To clarify: (a) The article already says that "chutzpah" is the best translation and (b) the point is that the reason chutzpah is occurring is because of the hypocrisy. In other words, it takes chutzpah to be so hypocritical.

Perhaps you're a bit too eager to find fault with this blog?