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Thursday, May 24, 2007

May 24, 2007 -- Contents


(1) La Russophobe takes a four-day hiatus. Happy Memorial Day!

(2) Essel on Neo-Soviet Economics

(3) Britain Gets Up in the Kremlin's Face over Litvinenko

(4) Brilliant Edward Lucas Blasts Putin with Both Barrels

(5) OUTRAGE!! Georgy Bovt Fired in Kremlin Powerplay

(6) Amnesty International Condemns Russia Once Again

(7) Kasparov Fires another Wicked Broadside

(8) Now, the Russians are Actually Shrinking!

(9) EDITORIAL: Edward Lozansky, Neo-Soviet Bagman

NOTE: We're not posting in honor of Memorial Day from tomorrow through Monday, but we've loaded you up with an extra-heavy dose of content that should tide you over until then. If you're looking for more, be sure to have a browse around our new translations blog, or flip through our extensive archives (which now contains nearly 2,000 posts indexed by topic). Give some thought to creating a Technorati account and using it to favorite us, too, and by all means check out the links to other sources of Russia information in our sidebar. We'll be back on Tuesday May 29th raring for action, see you then!


Anonymous said...

From Moscow Times. Interesting insight into why Putin hates Estonia.

I've got to say, if I was Estonian, the idea of Putin's old man arriving to liberate me would be enough to make me side with the Fuehrer too!

Behind Putin's Estonia Complex

By Lynn Berry
Friday, May 25, 2007

Nothing seems to make President Vladimir Putin angrier these days than Estonia.

Once it was Chechnya that inspired blustery speeches and sent sparks flying at news conferences. Journalists who dared to question the war were met with bursts of hostility. One, a French reporter, was famously invited to Moscow to be circumcised.

Criticism of Kremlin policy in Chechnya still makes Putin steam, but Estonia is the new hot-button issue.

During a joint news conference with European Union leaders in Samara on Friday, Putin twice diverged from the question he was asked to return to the issue of Estonia. Both times he talked about the stabbing death of an ethnic Russian during rioting last month over Estonia's decision to move the Bronze Soldier war memorial out of central Tallinn.

Putin did not focus on the stabbing, which may well have been the work of other ethnic Russians. Instead, he complained that the protester had received no medical help and been allowed to bleed to death on the street. "This constitutes a willful crime, and we demand that the perpetrators be brought to justice," Putin said.

Two days earlier, he had criticized Russian human rights groups for not speaking out against Estonia. "I did not see any flurry of activity coming from rights groups when the remains of Soviet soldiers were being relocated in a neighboring country. Where are our human rights groups?" Putin asked.

Putin seems to have taken personally Estonia's decision to move the memorial to fallen Red Army soldiers. This may be because he sees it not only as an affront to his country but as an affront to the memory of his father. As Putin once told it, his father was betrayed by Estonians during the war.

Before he was first elected in 2000, Putin gave a series of interviews to three Russian journalists for a book called "First Person." In the first chapter, he talks about his father. During the war, he was in an NKVD sabotage battalion operating behind German lines and was sent as part of a group of 28 people to carry out an operation in Estonian territory. They succeeded in blowing up a supply train and were able to hide in the woods, but eventually they ran out of food and turned to the local population. Estonians brought them food but then gave them up to the Germans. Only four people in the group survived, including Putin's father, who hid in a bog, breathing through a reed, to escape detection by Nazi soldiers who were searching for them with dogs.

The story of his father continues with him joining the regular army in Leningrad. He was badly wounded, but saved by a fellow soldier and former neighbor who carried him across the frozen Neva River under enemy fire to a hospital. For Putin's father, the war was defined by moments of contemptible betrayal and unswerving loyalty.

Putin's feelings for Estonians were revealed two years ago at a news conference, again following a meeting with EU leaders. When an Estonian television correspondent asked him a question, he made fun of her by mocking her accent in Russian. Undeterred, she continued with another question, asking why it was so difficult for Russia to apologize for the occupation. If Russia were to apologize, she said, "We would be able to live together very easily."

Putin responded by launching into what in the end amounted to a convoluted defense of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the 1939 agreement between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany that divided up Eastern Europe and gave Estonia to Stalin.

Putin first said the Congress of People's Deputies had dealt with the pact in 1989 by saying it did not reflect the view of the Soviet people and was legally invalid. "What else can be said that would be more specific and clear?" he asked the Estonian journalist. "Or do you want us to do this every year? What else do you think has to be said? We consider this question closed. That's it. We will not return to this again. We said it once and that's enough."

He went on to explain that there had been no occupation of Estonia because Germany had given the territory back to the Soviet Union in 1939. "This means that if in 1939 the Baltic countries had joined the Soviet Union, then in 1945 the Soviet Union could not have occupied them, because they were already part of the Soviet Union," he said and then added this colorful note: "I may not have studied very well at university, because I drank a lot of beer in my free time, but even so I still remember something. Something remained in my head. We had good teachers."

One thing his Soviet teachers most likely did not tell him was that before the Estonians had betrayed his father's NKVD-led group, the NKVD had begun arresting the Estonian leadership and anyone else who opposed Soviet rule. Prominent Estonians were being executed or sent to labor camps.

For Putin, history is still the history taught in the Soviet Union. It is the history of the country where he grew up and of the man who survived the war to become his father.

Lynn Berry is former editor of The Moscow Times.

Anonymous said...

elmer here.

I have found that the mentality of russkies is a "one-way" mentality.

That's easy to do when one is used to imposing one's mentality through brute force.

Journalists getting killed in Russia?

Russia moving a memorial to a Ukrainian soldier?

"My ox has not been gored."

One russkie killing another russkie in Estonia - during looting and rioting - well, that conjures up the Molotov-Ribbentropp mess.

Now, russkie's ox has been gored.

"Fascism is a matter of taste." - Molotov

Russian patriot said...

Is this place a gathering of idiots?
It is the only thought I got when had read the comments above.

Just look at this:

".... Putin hates Estonia"

or this:

"...Nothing seems to make President Vladimir Putin angrier these days than Estonia...".

or this:

"Russia moving a memorial(?) to a Ukrainian(?) soldier?"

Well, to lecture elmer about what politics is about would be the same like lecturing a Virginia tobacco farmer named Hilly-Billy about the Art of Ballet.

About Estonia, supposedly hated by somebody. It is just delusions of grandeur.

Hopless about the power of your mind I give you the following image to understand what is going on there.

OK, is it good or bad, but Russia is kind of a schoolyard bully. Estonia is a little ugly kid, trying to be a teacher's (the USA) pet, kissing up with the teachers and with some other influentional guys, hiding behind the others' backs, and teasing Russia from there by sticking the toungue out and calling names.
Do Russia hate Estonia?
-The word is too strong. Estonia did not deserve.
Does not like?
-This is a more accurate word.

So, each time when Russia has the chance, this bully kicks this little guy's ass. Just kicks the piggy Estonian ass every time when it stands on the way or other chance. Just kicks. Emotionlessly. For nothing.
All the words said like "outrageous" are just for the watching piblic, to justify the kick.

There is no a single memorial to Ukrainian soldiers in Russia.
All Ukrainian soldiers are burried in the Western Ukraine where they fought alongside with fascists or in nameless graves in Siberia where they ended up if were not burriied in the Western Ukraine. There was no Ukrainian soldiers fighting for Moscow. Those were Soviet Soldiers

This is the Russia's right to decide where to burry HER soldiers.
And where to move that particular grave.

Anonymous said...

Did he want respect for a NKVD agent performing terrorist acts in an occupied territory??


They are f. crazy.

NKVD was hated even by the savage and non-disciplined Soviet troops.

Putin's father philosophy: I kill you and you must help me. :D

Anonymous said...

elmer here.

Well, if Russia, on its own territory, has the right to say where people are buried, then Estonia has that same right as well.

I don't believe that Russia has the right to dictate matters in Estonia.

Here's a link to an article about a request from the Ukraine Foreign Ministry to Russia:

It's about moving a war memorial of a pilot.

Russian patriot said...

Of course Estonia has the right to do what they want on their territory. And Russia can not dictate matters in Estonia.
But... All that hassle with removing the monument in Tallin was not just about the grave being in a wrong place. That was a POLITICAL ACT, POLITICAL CAMPAIGN. And it was concieved to show Estonian animosity towards the Soviet Army and the Russians. Should not Russia react politically? And she did.
What else the Estonian government expected challenging Russia and ignoring the feelings of the Russians living in Estonia?

The national animal of Russia is a bear. The national animal of Estonia is a bacon pig.
It is better for pigs to weigh their chances when they decide to mess with bears, or they may end up as bacon.

Anonymous said...

elmer here.

If Russia cannot dictate matters in Estonia, then I don't see how there was anything for Russia to react to, including launching cyberattacks on Estonia, and protests in Moscow at the Estonian embassy, from the mere relocation of a soviet war memorial.

Unless, of course, Russia still identifies itself as the Soviet Union, with some sort of dictatorship rights over Estonia.

Seems to me that the Russian government would be much better off tending to its own people, and worrying about human rights and the welfare of people in Russia.

Russia has relocated or even destroyed soviet war memorials inside Russia.

Estonia, of course, has the right to do the same.

Russian patriot said...

With all my respect to the veterans, I can not approve the LR Memorial Day Congratulation repertuor.
The first song with the call "Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!" is good for the angels but not for soldiers. Everybody knows the soldiers are not the angels. They kill people, sometimes women and children, swear a lot, and their call is not HALLELUJAH! but HURRAY!
It looks like KZ has figurines of 2 angels hanged over her bed and loves them.
The second song is a shallow propaganda military song. Like the ones from the communists in the good old times of the USSR, which Kim Zigfeld hates with all her heart. Soldiers do not fight "for freedom and democracy". They fight because their givernments sent them to fight and they have to obey the order. Or because they hate the enemy for some personal reasos.

It occured to me to clip the two songs to make something better. This is what come out:

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, we will die to make them free;
We will fight our country's battles in the air, on land and sea;
While God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! While God is marching on.

Here's health to you and to our Corps, which we are proud to serve
In many a strife we've fought for life, and never lost our nerve;
If the Army and the Navy ever look on Heaven's scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.

Russian patriot said...

And this is a song from me to congratulate the American veterans.
It was composed and written by Russian poet Vladimir Vysotskiy. Unluckily Russian poetry loses a lot when translated in English. I used the translation from Internet and changed some lines. I hope American veterans will like it. And if they can read in Russian they will for sure.

«Он не вернулся из боя».

Почему всё не так?
Вроде, всё — как всегда:
То же небо, опять голубое,
Тот же лес, тот же воздух и та же вода, -
Только он не вернулся из боя.

Он молчал невпопад и не в такт подпевал,
Он всегда говорил про другое,
Он мне спать не давал — он с восходом вставал...
А вчера не вернулся из боя.

То, что пусто теперь, — не про то разговор!
Вдруг заметил я: нас было двое.
Для меня будто ветром задуло костёр,
Когда он не вернулся из боя.

Нынче вырвалась, будто из плена, весна.
По ошибке окликнул его я:
Друг! Оставь покурить! — а в ответ — тишина:
Он вчера не вернулся из боя.

Нам и места в землянке хватало вполне,
Нам и время текло для обоих...
Всё теперь одному. Только кажется мне -
Это я не вернулся из боя.

"He did not return from fighting"

Why it feels so bad? Looks like nothing has changed
Sky above, and the sun is still lighting.
Same is air, the forest, the river, the rain,
But my friend hasn't returned from the fighting

I'll never find out who was right of two us
In our disputes, without respite.
Only now I’ve found I miss him because
He my friend hasn't returned from the fighting.

He was awkwardly silent, he sang out of tune,
And his absence of mind was exciting,
He would not let me sleep, sitting up by the moon...
but last night (he) didn't come from fighting.

I'm destitute now, I've just touched the ground,
It occurred to me : I'd been beside him...
And I felt as if I had my fire blown out
when he didn't return from the fighting.

Like a prisoner from jail, spring has broken away.
By mistake I addressed him now, shouting :
"Buddy leave me a puff" - but what could he say?-
If last night he did not come from fighting.

In the bunker we had room enough to get by,
And for both of us time would be sliding...
But he now is gone, and I feel it was I
Who did not come alive from the fighting.

Anonymous said...

elmer here.

The Battle Hymn of the Republic comes from the US Civil War era, which involved, in part, a battle to end slavery.

History links of the song:

My question is this:

The Russian poem that you posted is indeed a moving sentiment.

So how do you reconcile that with your post about "kicking Estonia's ass" and "Russia is a bully, but that's OK, everyone else better watch out, because the Russian bear will eat the Estonian pig"?

You can't have it both ways.

Russian patriot said...

Thank you for the links. The granny on the picture looks cute.
And her song explicitly shows what happens if grannies allowed to write songs for military. Well, had she been asked to create a uniform for the Union Army she would probably come up with the lace on the soldiers underpants and roses on their caps. Ladies are ladies. Same is with Kim Zigfeld commenting on the Rissian history and political life.
I noticed that the Americans are trying too hard to get God involved in the dirty business of wars. Isn't it blastophemy?

About your question.
My vew of human beings is humanism.
My vew of politics is cynicism.
I think cynicism is the right vew of politics. Morality does not belong there.
When I wrote about "pigs and bears kicking asses" it was not about the Estonian or Russian people. I have nothing against Estonians. It was about Estonia as a political force, party. And Russia as another party in politics.
What I find wrong about Estonia-Russia relations is too many grievances from Estonia.
What occupation they are talking about? It was annexation. Incorporation of Estonia in the USSR as the one of the 15 Soviet Socialist Republics. Very honorable status. Estonians had their statehood preserved. Their cultural heritage and their language were respected. They all were the USSR citizens, had the same rights the Russians, Ukrainians, Georgians, etc had. they served in Soviet Army, participated in the elections at the local and federal level, could be elected or appointed for the highest posts in the USSR.
How dare they speak about occupation? Now Estonia is an occupation force in Iraq. So they may learn what occupation is about. Do Iraqis have the right to vote for Estonian president or to serve in the Estonian army?
They are not happy with Russian setlers who came to Estonia? Well that was the one whole country after all. Estonians in return could settle anywhere in the USSR.
The annexation was forcible? "They raped us!-bla-bla-bla"?
Yes. Raped. Because found it nessesary and had such an opportunity. Politics is about using the opportunities.
In 1940 taking Estonia was a security issue for the USSR. The Gulf of Finland is too narrow, the Russian Baltic fleet could be easily locked in Leningrad.
That was clear prewar situation. Germany, the USSR and France-Britain, were playing a difficult political chess game for three parties. Estonia, Poland, Finland, and the others smaller nations were the pawns in that game.
Who is to blame they were pawns?
At that time like centuries before stronger natins dictated to the weaker nations what to do and drawed their borders. Even now when political morality improved a lot, the USA reserve any actions for themself if they have security concerns. Iraq and Afganistan are the examples.
I think it would make good for Estonia not to demand "appologies" from Russia, but to put all their grievances in one big plastic bag and hide it deeply in archives, comforting themself with the words "Well, could be worse."

Anonymous said...

ROGER WATERS “Leaving Beirut”
When I was 17 my mother, bless her heart, fulfilled my summer dream
She handed me the keys to the car
We motored down to Paris, fuelled with Dexedrine and booze
Got bust in Antibes by the cops
And fleeced in Naples by the wops
But everyone was kind to us, we were the English dudes
Our dads had helped them win the war
When we all knew what we were fighting for
But now an Englishman abroad is just a US stooge
The bulldog is a poodle snapping round the scoundrel's last refuge

Are these the people that we should bomb
Are we so sure they mean us harm
Is this our pleasure, punishment or crime
Is this a mountain that we really want to climb
The road is hard, hard and long
Put down that two by four
This man would never turn you from his door
Oh George! Oh George!
That Texas education must have fucked you up when you were very small

Is gentleness too much for us
Should gentleness be filed along with empathy
We feel for someone else's child
Every time a smart bomb does its sums and gets it wrong
Someone else's child dies and equities in defence rise
America, America, please hear us when we call
You got hip-hop, be-bop, hustle and bustle
You got Atticus Finch
You got Jane Russell
You got freedom of speech
You got great beaches, wildernesses and malls
Don't let the might, the Christian right, fuck it all up
For you and the rest of the world

Not in my name, Tony, you great war leader you
Terror is still terror, whosoever gets to frame the rules
History's not written by the vanquished or the damned
Now we are Genghis Khan, Lucretia Borghia, Son of Sam
In 1961 they took this child into their home
I wonder what became of them
In the cauldron that was Lebanon
If I could find them now, could I make amends?
How does the story end?...

Comments to the youtube video:
i couldn't agree more. some of the folks writing here are apparently not well-read, or have limited understanding of how the world works. IMO, the bush doctrine comes closer to being fascism than the Islamic authorities. i speak about how the rest of the world sees us.

Fascists don't look at themselves. That's why we need to make it very clear why being an aggressive fascist doesn't pay

Think this is what Jonh Lennon would do if he was alive by now

it s wonderful!!!the music the lyrics!!!this tour!!my best show ever!!!end off course fuck bush,the puppet in capitalism s hands and the rich american sionist motherfuckers!!!let the world be free in peace!!!