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Old February 24th, 2008 #1
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Neo-Nazis and Anti-Fascists Clash in Moscow

(February 22, 2008)

Three separate violent incidents took place in Moscow on Valentines Day between neo-Nazis and anti-fascists, according to a February 15, 2008 report by the news web site Gazeta.ru. Around 50 anti-fascists gathered to protect a "flash mob" demonstration by gay rights activists in the downtown area; a large group of neo-Nazis, who regularly assault both groups, gathered to disrupt the demonstration. The anti-fascists attacked two neo-Nazis, one of whom managed to escape before they beat him. That same day, neo-Nazis stabbed an anti-fascist, and in a third incident, a mass brawl involving 30-40 people on either side resulted in several anti-fascists being seriously injured.

http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/022208Russ3.shtml
 
Old February 25th, 2008 #2
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Putin Beyond the Propaganda
Posted by Matthew Roberts on February 20, 2008

Even the editors of Time magazine can occasionally display some some wisdom, and to begin the new year, they got two things right: first, they canned Bill Kristol and Charles Krauthammer; second, they named President Vladimir Putin ”Person of the Year.” Putin may not be very well understood in the America, but he’s certainly deserving of the prize. The recent Russian parliamentary election delivered his United Russia Party 315 seats in a 450-seat parliament. And with Dmitry Medvedev anointed as Putin’s successor, it appears that Putin will continue to wield influence as Russia’s new prime minister. Although some analysts have cried foul play in these elections, tampering would seem superfluous: Putin is one of the most popular Russian leaders of the past 85 years. Given the chaos of the 1990s, Putin has restored a sense of order and pride to Russia, and the Russians have demonstrated their devotion in these recent elections.

This affection is not shared by the American media elite, especially those in the neoliberal and neoconservative crowds, who usually have had nothing but negative things to say about the Russian president. Vice President Dick Cheney has warned that “opponents of reform are seeking to reverse the gains of the last decade”; Michael Ledeen hysterically predicted that Putin wants to “Finlandize Europe.”

Regarding Putin’s recent condemnation of Kosovo independence—as “illegal, ill-conceived and immoral"—critics again have gone on the offensive. Calling Kosovar independence “inevitable,” David Satter, author of the doomsday Darkness at Dawn: the Rise of the Russian Criminal State, writes in a National Review Online symposium, “Russia under Putin seeks to assert itself and, for that, it needs manageable conflicts with the West”; Tom Nichols criticizes Putin’s concerns as “pointless but hypocritical in the extreme”; James S. Robbins adds that Kosovar independence is a “very sensible redrawing of lines”; Ariel Cohen chimes in that Putin is “anxious to find points of confrontation with Europe and the U.S.”

The real hypocrisy in all this is that in backing Kosovar independence, these devotees of the war on terror (and quixotic cold warriors) are supporting the creation of an Islamicist state within Europe. Putin, by opposing this Trojan horse, proves himself to be the true patriot of the West.

But the hypocrisy does not end with Kosovo. Neocons are often willing to shelve the war on terror to help the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC), whose membership includes Richard Perle, Elliott Abrams, Midge Decter, Norman Podhoretz, Michael Ledeen, et al. As John Laughland writes in the Guardian:

“The ACPC heavily promotes the idea that the Chechen rebellion shows the undemocratic nature of Putin’s Russia, and cultivates the support for the Chechen cause by emphasizing the seriousness of human rights violations. ... It compares the Chechen crisis to those other fashionable ‘Muslim’ causes, Bosnia and Kosovo—implying that only international intervention in the Caucasas can stabilise the situation there.”

After the recent elections, this chorus of condemnation has intensified. Siding with potential Chechen terrorists against a man who has exposed numerous terrorist networks in Russia, critics have painted Putin as dangerous and autocratic. But the real question, which the media talking heads fail to ask, is: What crime has Putin committed? Do any of his practices even resemble the system of gulags, mass murder of millions, and nuclear bullying of the Stalinist era? Is he planning to occupy Western Europe or bomb the United States any time soon?

Of course not. Putin’s real crime is that he has refused to play by the rules of globalization. In fact, he has done something rather remarkable, indeed, unheard of these days in most Western countries—he has sought to pursue policies that truly are in Russia’s interest. Putin recently commented, “Russians will never allow for the development of the country along a destructive path, the way it happened in some countries in the post-Soviet space.” In other words, Putin is uninterested in Wilsonian crusades in the Middle East, undermining his own economy with suicidal free-trade pacts, driving down wages with Third World immigration, or turning over Russia’s beloved oil and gas assets to multinational corporations. Putin is doing what he was elected to do: protect Russia.

And in doing so, Putin has proven himself a true Russian patriot. Concerning immigration, Putin has instigated rules to make even Rep. Tom Tancredo appear coy. Recognizing that illegal immigrants are driving down wages in an already depressed economy as well as inciting anger among Russia’s native lower classes, Putin has steered towards a path of attrition. He has sought to reduce the presence of foreign workers at wholesale and retail markets, which had become magnets to illegal immigrants. He said that authorities should “protect the interests of Russian producers” and “the native population of Russia.” In other words, Russians first.

While American “conservatives” like John McCain warn of the “intolerance” of the religious Right, Putin has overseen a true revitalization of Orthodox Christianity in Russia. Having been closed for nearly 70 years, the Solovetsky Islands, one of the holiest sites in Russian Orthodox Christianity dating back to the 15th century, have been repopulated by monks. And most recently, Christian teaching has returned to Russian public schools. As Clifford J. Levy reports in the New York Times:

“Nearly two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union ... localities in Russia are increasingly decreeing that to receive a proper public school education, children should be steeped in the ways of the Russian Orthodox Church, including its traditions, liturgy and historic figures.”

While it is nearly criminal to mention “Christmas” in American public schools, Russian teachers are openly instructing their students in the basic tenants of Christian morality, and with Putin’s blessing, the Kremlin has hosted Russian Orthodox priests to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the restoration of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Putin has whole-heartedly pushed for the inclusion Christianity in public life. As David Nowak, of The MoscowTimes.com has observed:

“Not since Tsar Nicholas II has Russia had a leader so keen to embrace religion. Putin has made regular public appearances with Church representatives and has said the Church “plays a paramount role in preserving the moral pillars” of society.”

To all this Putin’s neocon and neoliberal critics will respond, “that’s great, but he has failed to liberalize Russia’s markets.” But why should he? To let Russian oligarchs auction off Russia’s natural resources to multinational corporations? The liberal-economic paradigm is alien to Russia’s traditions, and it would be un-Burkean to impose such a foreign order upon her. Russia has her own homegrown traditions and will chart her own course in the 21st Century.

Putin is no angel, but he is hardly the devil incarnate that many in the media make him out to be. Though he has continued some Soviet practices, Putin has mitigated them with Russian traditions and religion. He as also been prudent in recognizing that a complete break with the immediate past would be a disaster. He has sought to steer a course he feels reflects the long-term interests of the Russian people. In fact, he is pursuing a my-own-country-first policy that many Americans wish our own leaders would follow.

But inside the Beltway, the neocons at ACPC want to revive the spirit the Committee on the Present Danger and view Russia through the ideological glasses of the days of yore. Chicken hawks want an international conflict that is not in our interest against a country that is not a threat and to demonize a man who is in fact sensible and patriotic. Instead, we should extend the olive branch to Russia and recognize her as a nation of the greater West—a cultural, transnational body of which we are a part (or should hope to be.)

Matthew A. Roberts writes from Kansas City, Missouri.

http://www.takimag.com/site/article/...he_propoganda/




Follow the money, The animosity of the neocons towards Putin is rooted the ethnic solidarity that they have with the dual loyalty oligarchs most of whom carry Israeli passports in addition to Russian ones. Putin’s policy of recouping the huge financial losses that the former Soviet slaves suffered when Jeffrey Sachs advised the new noncommunist government on how to denationalize industries, which then ended up, by some strange miracle, in the hands of his co-religionists, is the real source of the neoconr loathing. The neocons have the exact same dual loyalty. Actually it is a loyalty to Israel and a feigned attachment to either Russia or America. Dual loyalty is impossible and the primary commitment is obvious in both cases. The entire camarilla is anti-American, anti-Russian and anti-Christian.
Posted by felipeb on Feb 20, 2008.




FINE ESSAY BY MATTHEW ROBERTS. HOWEVER, MR. ROBERTS IS REMISS NOT TO MENTION THAT THE NEOCONS HATE PUTIN BECAUSE HE IS A RUSSIAN NATIONALIST WHO HAD THE TEMERITY TO CHALLENGE THE PREDOMINATELY JEWISH OLIGARCHS WHO EXPLOITED BORIS YELSIN’S DEFICIENCIES AS A LEADER TO ROB THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE OF THEIR ABUNDANT NATURAL RESOURCES. THE NEOCONS VIEW PUTIN AS THE REBIRTH OF THE TSAR.
Posted by johnt on Feb 20, 2008.

Last edited by Alex Linder; February 25th, 2008 at 12:45 AM.
 
Old February 25th, 2008 #3
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Imagine that, a Leader who actually has the best intrests of his country and his people in mind. This is in stark contrast to our leaders who routinely have everyone elses [or their own] best intrests in mind. The fact that he sees the influx of immigrants as a detriment and not as an asset is refreshing. He is not a proponent of globalization and want's to protect Russia's natural assets unlike the stooges in our government who continue to sell off and sell out America every chance they get. Putin is obviously a man of vision and it will be interesting to see how Russia progresses in the near future.
 
Old October 7th, 2012 #4
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European Council accumulates complaints


Oct 6, 2012 16:30 Moscow Time



Russia became the main topic at the autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

European MPs criticized the political situation in Russia. Even though the final resolution does not contain all criticisms, the Russian delegation still considers the document unacceptable. Fortunately, Moscow and Strasbourg have managed to avoid the worsening of relations.

The current PACE session discussed a roundup report on the situation in Russia for the first time in the last seven years. Strasbourg had a lot of complaints about Russia’s meeting its obligations to the Council of Europe. European MPs wrote them down in the final resolution and Moscow considered the document unfair. Still, deputy head of the Russian delegation Leonid Slutsky called the adopted resolution the best since Russia’s accession to the Council of Europe.

“Compared with the resolution adopted seven years ago, the new one is much more progressive. Of course, there are some negative features, like the Magnitsky case, Pussy Riot, Gudkov and criticism of the Russian law. Still, the most unacceptable parts of the resolution for us were crossed out with our participation before the session began. But even in the current condition the resolution does not suit us. There is a paragraph that we should renounce the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.”

The PACE mentioned positive changes in Russia’s social and political life over the last seven years, such as easier registration of political parties, the reestablishment of direct elections of governors, the separation of the Investigative Committee from the Public Prosecutor’s Office. Still, complaints outnumbered the achievements. The MPs are concerned about the laws on criminal prosecution for slander, the black list of forbidden Internet websites and the introduction of the status of ‘foreign agents’ for non-commercial organisations. The resolution also reads that Russia has not met the PACE resolution on the 2008 conflict in the Caucasus and has not withdrawn its troops from Moldova.

Moscow is not going to sulk about the PACE recommendations. On the other hand, it is not going to follow them either, the Russian President’s press-secretary Dmitry Peskov said. The PACE does not separate Russia’s commitments and Europe’s claims to it, Russian MP Dmitry Vyatkin believes.

“What is written in the resolution has nothing in common with the commitments that Russia adopted acceding to the Council of Europe. This resolution is an attempt at political pressure.”

The Russian delegation pointed out that they were prepared for a tough discussion but not a conflict with the PACE. Moscow has listened to different opinions and come to the conclusion that European MPs have not given up the practice of imposing their opinions on Russia, Vice Speaker of the State Duma Sergey Zhelezniak has told The Voice of Russia.

“The resolution has shown obvious double standards. Limitations, bans and legal norms that exist in Europe have no right to exist in Russia, according to the PACE. For some reason, in Russia there should be no punishment for hooliganism, no ban of combining parliamentary functions and business, which takes place in all European countries and all civilized counties in the world.”

The resolution was adopted by the majority of votes. The Russian delegation did not support the resolution but the main Moscow’s complaint was about another PACE initiative to step up control over Russia’s meeting its obligations to the Council of Europe. A special committee of the Parliamentary Assembly monitors all 47 member-states of the Council. The session discussed versions of tougher control over Russia by the leadership of the Council of Europe, the Committee of Ministers. The Russian delegation saw this as interference in the country’s internal affairs and an attempt to turn the Committee of Ministers into an instrument of political pressure. In the future, such a decision could touch upon other member-states of the Council of Europe. The Russian MPs’ arguments were taken into consideration and the initiative was declined.

Speaking on the results of the Strasbourg discussions, the members of the Russian delegation point out that both sides strove for cooperation. Now Moscow and Strasbourg are facing the development of cooperation programmes for the next two years.

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_10_06/Eu...es-complaints/
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Old October 10th, 2012 #5
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Russia no longer wants U.S. aid on nuclear arms security

By Will Englund, Updated: Thursday, October 11, 9:03 AM

MOSCOW — Russia has told the United States that it will not extend the Nunn-Lugar weapons reduction and security agreement after it expires at the end of May, saying it no longer needs to receive foreign aid and is concerned about leaks of nuclear security information.

The 21-year-old cooperative program was designed to help secure the nuclear and chemical weapons arsenal of the Soviet Union after the bloc’s collapse. At a cost of about $500 million a year, it has ensured the shipment of nuclear weapons out of Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus, deactivated more than 7,600 nuclear warheads, destroyed 902 intercontinental ballistic missiles and 33 submarines and secured 24 nuclear weapons storage sites.

Russia has become increasingly uncomfortable in the role of a nation that receives outside assistance, and conservatives in the United States have pointed out that the program frees up Russian money that can be spent on new armaments.

The Foreign Ministry indicated that Russia is not abandoning efforts to secure weapons of mass destruction, saying in a statement issued Wednesday evening that the country wants to create a new framework for nuclear security.

“We have received an offer from the American side for the next renewal of the 1992 agreement,” the statement said. “Our American partners know that their proposal is not consistent with our ideas about what forms and on what basis further cooperation should be built. To this end, in particular, we need another, more modern legal framework.”

The move comes just a few weeks after Russia announced it was expelling the U.S. Agency for International Development, the American foreign-aid program. Earlier this week, UNICEF also announced that it will wind up its operations in Russia by the end of the year. On Wednesday evening, Interfax quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying there was no connection between the shutdown of the aid programs and the end of the weapons agreement.

But the Kremlin has been hewing to a distinctly anti-American tone as it attempts to portray its domestic opponents as agents of the United States. which they mostly are At the same time, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has called Russia America’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe.”

Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.), one of two sponsors of the 1991 bill that created what is formally called the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, was defeated by a conservative Republican in this year’s Indiana Senate primary, thus removing its principal advocate from office.

His co-sponsor, former senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), issued a statement Wednesday noting how much had been accomplished under the pact and adding: “I hope and expect that the U.S.-Russian partnership will be strengthened by any changes to the program.”

The Nunn-Lugar program also targets chemical weapons and has established monitoring facilities for the detection of biological weapons. Russia says it has no biological arms.

In the past decade, the program was expanded beyond the former Soviet Union and was put to use in aiding Albania to destroy its stockpile of chemical weapons.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...2a7_story.html
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Old February 25th, 2008 #6
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Quote:
But the hypocrisy does not end with Kosovo. Neocons are often willing to shelve the war on terror to help the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC), whose membership includes Richard Perle, Elliott Abrams, Midge Decter, Norman Podhoretz, Michael Ledeen, et al. As John Laughland writes in the Guardian:

“The ACPC heavily promotes the idea that the Chechen rebellion shows the undemocratic nature of Putin’s Russia, and cultivates the support for the Chechen cause by emphasizing the seriousness of human rights violations. ... It compares the Chechen crisis to those other fashionable ‘Muslim’ causes, Bosnia and Kosovo—implying that only international intervention in the Caucasas can stabilise the situation there.”
I realize that these ACPC people could care less about the people in the Caucasas, and are just using this as something to undermine Putin.

None the less, the Russians have been brutal to the Muslims in that region. I wish a settlement of some sort could be reached with independance for Chechyna.

http://www.alkavkaz.com/haber/
http://www.kavkazcenter.com/eng/

Jamaat "Shariat": Wilayah of Dagestan; The Kadar Siege 28/08/1999
(Dagestan is nearby Chechnya)

 
Old March 3rd, 2008 #7
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[Extremely long piece on Edward Limonov, head of National Bolsheviks - the only real opposition to Putin's party, claims NYT Magazine]


Putin’s Pariah

By ANDREW MEIER

March 2, 2008

It began inauspiciously. On a frozen afternoon in late November, as Moscow was draped with blocklong plastic billboards, banners and flags, each proclaiming a variation on a single theme — “POBEDA PUTINA — POBEDA ROSSII!” (“A Victory for Putin Is a Victory for Russia”) — a few thousand Russians converged on the city center for a rare act of political theater. It seemed, at first, like a tableau from the last days of the U.S.S.R., those heady months when glasnost swelled the streets with protesters. A handful of dissidents stood on a flatbed truck; a jumble of loudspeakers were stacked below; the crew of foreign reporters vastly outnumbered the local press; and across the way, the secret policemen with their unseen amplifiers were drowning the protest in canned laughter and Soviet waltzes.

That afternoon all eyes and lenses were fixed on Garry Kasparov, the valiant chess master trying in retirement to end the reign of Vladimir Putin. After Kasparov clapped his hands and shouted “Davai!” — “Let’s go!” — he started toward the Central Election Commission, where he planned to deliver a list of complaints. As he marched, however, it was clear that he was not alone at the head of the demonstration. He had locked arms with his unlikely comrade in one of modern Russia’s most quixotic quests — Edward Limonov, the 65-year-old poet-turned-populist who heads the National Bolshevik Party, or NBP.

After the presidential election in Russia, taking place today, not much is likely to change. Putin’s anointed successor, the young lawyer Dmitri Medvedev, is little more than a proxy. But there remains one genuine opposition force, the Other Russia, a threadbare alliance comprising the remnants of the Westernizing camp led by [jew] Kasparov and the banned National Bolsheviks, the Nat-Bols, as Limonov’s young followers call themselves. In the face of Kremlin control of the airwaves and the small army of police deployed to muzzle their protests, the alliance has proved more adept at internecine warfare than at grass-roots politicking.

Limonov, however, has not given up. With his bizarre, often half-baked yet latently sinister populism, he remains hellbent on ruining the Kremlin’s party. And despite his strident nationalism and affinity for rogue youth, he works in close partnership with the liberal-minded Kasparov. “Russia is rich in generals without armies,” Kasparov told me last fall. “But Limonov has foot soldiers. He commands street power.”

The crowd at the rally was not large; in fact it was depressingly small to anyone who remembered the last days of the U.S.S.R. Yet at the fore stood a disciplined corps of 200 or 300 Nat-Bols — young men and women dressed in black whose faces beamed with unexpected joy. The march ended, as expected, nearly as soon as it began. The riot police formed walls on either end of the procession and closed the vise. When they roughed up Kasparov and threw him in a paddy wagon, the foreign press surrounded it. When they sent him to jail for five days, European leaders and even George W. Bush’s spokesman issued peals of condemnation.

Limonov, however, also vanished. A babushka in the street swore he’d been hauled off, bag over his head. Ekho Moskvy, the liberal Moscow radio station and a last preserve of independent media in Russia, reported he had been arrested. No one, however, could find Limonov in the jails. Only days later, the truth emerged. “It was my boys,” Limonov told me. The Nat-Bols had forsworn their party flags — notoriously similar in color and design to the Nazis’, only with a black hammer and sickle replacing the swastika — and executed their game plan. Before the police could reach Limonov, his supporters carted him off. “My boys saved me,” he said. “Just like they can save the country.”

“Russia is back,” they like to say in Moscow these days. What a difference a sea of oil and gas can make. Bentleys, Maseratis and Maybach 62s — those Bavarian chariots that set you back upward of $400,000 — rule the prospekty. At the Ritz-Carlton, a new marble palace erected on the remains of the old Intourist Hotel across from Red Square, the smallest singles run $1,200 a night.

Still, in Moscow, and out across the hinterland, there is something else — a new generation untouched by high-speed globalization and mired in uncertainty. Russia’s youth ranges widely in its political sympathies — from the neo-Nazi thugs who posted the beheading of a dark-skinned man on the Internet to the neo-Soviet youth groups spawned by the Kremlin. But Limonov’s National-Bolsheviks came first and now stand somewhere in the middle of Russia’s odd political spectrum, part Merry Pranksters, part revolutionary vanguard. The party does not tally its membership, “for security reasons,” Limonov says, but claims to have 1,000 to 1,500 hardcore activists and some 56,000 loyalists. Unmoored by economic upheaval and unmoved by Putin’s restoration project, they have found in the NBP a satisfyingly fierce ideology, often mediated by black humor, that can be refashioned, as Limonov readily admits, “to fit anyone and anything.”

Limonov founded the NBP in 1993 after returning to Russia from years abroad. Since then, his message has changed — from anti-Americanism and anti-capitalism to anti-Putinism and anti-fascism — though rabid nationalism has dominated. He has sought the mantle of everyone from Mikhail Bakunin, the 19th-century anarchist, to Jean-Marie Le Pen, the French ultranationalist. He has shifted course so often that by now only the goal — revolution — and the means — young people — remain constants. “In the bureaucratic KGB-cop state, youth are expendable,” he has written. He maintains that young Russians, “physically the most powerful group in society,” are regarded by authorities as “the internal enemy,” just as the Chechens are seen as the external one. Disaffected youth are Russia’s “most exploited class” in Limonov’s view and, as he readily admits, his core supporters. There are young men with shaved heads in the party, though these days they are more likely to be left-wing punks than right-wing skinheads.

[much, much more through link]
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/02/ma...l?ref=magazine

Last edited by Alex Linder; March 3rd, 2008 at 05:55 PM.
 
Old March 3rd, 2008 #8
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The Kremlin has not only proved incapable of ignoring Limonov; it has also adopted his tactics. Putin’s ideologues, led by his deputy chief of staff, Vladislav Surkov, have created a raft of “youth groups” like Nashi (“Our Own”) and Molodaya Gvardiya (“the Young Guard”). As well financed, unyielding and patriotic as their patrons, they have earned the collective nickname “Putin Jugend.” While some discount their reach, and Nashi may soon lose its state financing, the British ambassador, Anthony Brenton, learned their power firsthand. Two years ago Nashi activists — Nashisty, as the Nat-Bols call them, with a deliberate ring of fashisty, fascists — began shadowing the diplomat in Moscow. For months, they leafleted his car, picketed his residence and heckled him in public, before the Russian foreign minister stepped in. Brenton’s offense? He had attended an opposition conference, sitting in the company of Limonov.

[...]

The two and a half years Limonov spent behind bars earlier in the decade proved a boon to his writing; it was his most prolific time since his days in New York welfare hotels. In prison, he finished eight books — “nearly 2,000 pages,” he said, measuring his output like a Soviet shock worker. The guards left him alone to write. He only had “to push a button and ask to go to work,” he said. Limonov emerged from jail, in the Russian tradition, with a manifesto, “a series of lectures for NBP members”: “Drugaya Rossiya” (“the Other Russia”). Kasparov liked the title; it became the name of their coalition. An inchoate wide-ranging treatise, the book calls for a “new civilization,” a collection of “armed communes” to replace the evils of urban Russia and restore the insulted and injured to their rural roots. To reverse Russia’s dismal birth rate, polygamy will be permitted, free love encouraged and childbirth required, “like military service for men.” Abortion will be outlawed, and all women, before they reach 35, must have “no fewer than four children for the motherland.” Limonov, however, wants to have it all. “One should not view the new civilization as a leap backward,” he wrote. “The newly civilized shall not wage war against science, against the useful and intelligent achievements of technological progress. Not at all. We will develop the Internet and genetics and HDTV. TV and the Internet will unite the armed communes as one in the unified civilization of free citizens.” The takeover of power, Limonov promised, will not come from an external force, as it did in Afghanistan when the Taliban swept in from refugee camps in Pakistan. “It will come from within.”
 
Old March 3rd, 2008 #9
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Mar 3, 2008

Congratulations, President-elect Dmitry Medvedev

By NICKOLAI BUTKEVICH

A month away from becoming leader of the world's largest country, Russia's president-in-waiting Dmitry Medvedev has a lot on his plate. Eight years after President Vladimir Putin assumed office, Russia has gone from a humiliated economic basket case to an assertive player on the world stage. Behind the boom, however, is an ugly flip side - a record number of hate crimes set nearly every year of Vladimir Putin's presidency.

Attacks on non-Russians now occur on a daily basis, with four murders in Moscow just last week. According to Russian law enforcement figures, the number of crimes committed by extremist groups tripled from 2004-2007. The Sova Center, a Russian NGO, announced that 17 people were killed and more than 50 injured as of February 15, a pace that, if maintained, would result in a doubling of the 2007 numbers.

Neo-Nazi gangs, who even the government admits have at least 20,000 members (other estimates are higher), are thought to be responsible for most of the violence. Unfortunately, the ideology of the far-Right has moved from the fringe to a level of respectability that would have been unthinkable in the 1990s.


Increasingly, ordinary young men with no ties to hate groups take part in the attacks. Defying the stereotype of uneducated, futureless youths from the poor suburbs surrounding Moscow and St. Petersburg, many of these perpetrators are university students with decent job prospects.

Polls show that over half the country now supports the neo-Nazi slogan "Russia for the ethnic Russians" and politicians preaching hatred against non-Russian migrants, Jews, and other minority groups routinely win office in national and local parliaments.


THERE ARE three main reasons why racist violence has become so common.

The humiliation and fear that the chaos of the 1990s inflicted on the Russian populace cannot be over-estimated. The middle class was devastated by ill-conceived economic reforms, worsening a demographic catastrophe. At the same time, millions of migrants from the southern former Soviet republics came to Russia seeking employment. Predominantly dark-skinned and Islamic, migrants strike fear in the hearts of many Russians, especially when they build mosques in communities far from traditionally Muslim areas.

Secondly, the executive branch makes the situation worse by pandering to the extremists and their increasingly popular ideas. President Putin's use of racist rhetoric in the wake of the 2006 Kondopoga riots, which targeted migrants from the Caucasus, is the most prominent example of this disturbing new trend. The president used the publicity surrounding the riot to successfully push for a law that bans foreign market traders. During his speech, Putin employed the far-Right's phrase "the native peoples of Russia," a sharp departure from past speeches, which tended to emphasize inter-ethnic tolerance.

Shortly afterwards, the Russian government engaged in a witch hunt against ethnic Georgians during which thousands were detained and an unknown number deported, including many who were present in the country legally. Government-controlled media incites fear and hatred against the US, Europe, and whichever former Soviet state (Ukraine, Georgia, Estonia) happens to be the Kremlin's enemy of the month. The paranoid ethic of the KGB suffuses the ruling elite to such an extent that even Medvedev, who has no known secret police past, recently accused foreign NGOs of espionage, and last Friday Moscow's new ambassador to NATO threatened the West with "brute military force" over the Kosovo issue.

FINALLY, the perpetrators of hate crimes enjoy a high degree of impunity. In a blatant attempt to "cook the books" and thereby avoid embarrassing their bosses, Russian prosecutors routinely charge neo-Nazis and other extremists with "hooliganism" - a vague, catch-all charge that carries only minor penalties - instead of hate crimes. Last week, a coalition of migrant organizations in Moscow threatened retaliatory violence if the government doesn't crack down on extremist groups, a sign that some victimized groups may soon take the law into their own hands.

Mr. Medvedev ought to signal a sharp break with these failed policies by firing law enforcement officials who refuse to take hate groups seriously. Replacing Moscow's chief of police, who earlier this month denied that organized skinhead groups exist in the city, would be a good place to start. Increased cooperation with the NGO community, which recently united in a 30-member "Coalition Against Hate" to combat racism in the former Soviet Union, would be a key step. One thing is clear - allowing Russia to descend into all out ethnic conflict would be a catastrophe for its people, and the world.

The writer is Research and Advocacy Director at the Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union. www.ucsj.org

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satelli...cle%2FShowFull
 
Old April 21st, 2011 #10
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West “trying to strangle” Belarus

Source: Ria novosti

MINSK -- Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday Western countries were preparing direct interference in his country's affairs.

He also added that the West was trying "to strangle the country with a slipknot."

"First there were political threats, disavowal of [presidential] elections, [European] entry bans and economic sanctions. Then there was an instigation of turmoil on our foreign currency market and dances on the bones after the blast at the Oktyabrskaya metro station," Lukashenko said addressing the parliament and his people.

Earlier in the week, the Belarusian president hit out at Western powers for "not sending condolences" to the people of Belarus following the April 11 terrorist attack at the Oktyabrskaya subway station in Minsk that killed 13 and wounded over 150 people.

"These are all links of one chain aimed to plant mistrust for the authorities and to strangle the country with a slipknot. They want to force us to be just like everybody else, like they are eventually. We are like a bone in their throat," he said.

"If they try to bend us, to bring us down to our knees, we will at least resist. We will fight for our plot of land," the president added.

Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus with an iron fist since 1994, was reelected in disputed polls in December. Dozens of opposition figures, including political rivals, were arrested after violent protests in Minsk following the announcement of the presidential result.
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Old November 24th, 2010 #11
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China,Russia quit dollar

St. Petersburg, Russia - China and Russia have decided to renounce the US dollar and resort to using their own currencies for bilateral trade, Premier Wen Jiabao and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin announced late on Tuesday.
Chinese experts said the move reflected closer relations between Beijing and Moscow and is not aimed at challenging the dollar, but to protect their domestic economie More..s.

"About trade settlement, we have decided to use our own currencies," Putin said at a joint news conference with Wen in St. Petersburg.

Liveleak.com - China, Russia quit dollar
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Old December 7th, 2012 #12
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December 7, 2012 | 13:57

Russia to retaliate against U.S. over visa, banking bans

Source: Beta

MOSCOW -- Russia will ban Americans who violated human rights from entering Russia, as a response to the U.S. Senate’s decision to approve the "Magnitsky Act”.


The U.S. Senate decided to impose visa and banking bans on Russian officials suspected of involvement in human rights violations.

“After (last night’s) meeting with (U.S. Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton in Dublin, I confirmed that we will also close entry to Americans who are guilty of human rights violations," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed the Magnitsky Act that envisages visa and banking bans on Russian officials suspected of involvement in the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2009. The adoption of the bill enraged Moscow that promised it would respond adequately.

A Russian parliament official has stated that sanctions could be imposed on U.S. officials suspected of violating human rights in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places around the world.

37-year-old Magnitsky died in prison on November 16, 2009. According to official medical reports, the cause of death was heart failure.

The Human Rights Council has however released that the lawyer was beaten to death.

Magnitsky was arrested in 2008 on suspicion of tax evasion and fraud worth USD 230mn. Certain Russian NGOs say that Magnitsky agreed to reveal the whole network of corrupt bankers, tax administration employees and state officials to investigators.

According to the Magnitsky Act, which is yet to be approved by U.S. President Barack Obama, individuals involved in the lawyer’s death and those responsible for violation of human rights in Russia will not be able to get U.S. visas and their assets can be frozen.

Clinton warned in Dublin on Thursday of new attempts of repressive governments to “re-Sovietize" much of Eastern Europe and Central Asia taking particular aim at Russia for its crackdown on democracy and human rights groups just hours ahead of critical talks with Lavrov.

Speaking to a group of lawyers and civil society advocates on the sidelines of an international human rights conference, Clinton took aim at what she described as a “new wave of repressive tactics and laws aimed at criminalizing U.S. outreach efforts in the field of human rights”.

“The trends are indicative of a larger reversal of freedoms for citizens of Russia, Belarus, Turkmenistan and other countries that emerged from the breakup of the Soviet Union two decades ago,” she said.

"We know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it," Clinton added.

In her speech at the OSCE ministerial conference, Clinton expressed concern over a new Russian bill requesting foreign-funded organizations and journalists to be registered as “foreign agents”.

The U.S. believes that the law is aimed at preventing criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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Old December 15th, 2012 #13
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Putin calls for three children

http://vnnforum.com/showthread.php?p...05#post1476005
 
Old September 12th, 2012 #14
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Putin says Romney comment justifies Russia’s opposition to US missile defense plans

By Associated Press, Wednesday, September 12, 4:57 AMAP


MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that a comment made by U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney has made Russia feel justified in opposing America’s missile defense plans in Europe.

The Republican challenger to President Barack Obama has branded Russia the “No. 1 geopolitical foe” of the United States.

Putin said that statement shows Russia is right to criticize the U.S.-led NATO plan to place land- and sea-based radars and interceptors in several European locations. Washington says the shield is intended against a possible missile attack from Iran, but Moscow sees it as a threat to its security, saying it may eventually grow powerful enough to undermine Russia’s nuclear deterrent.

Putin said in remarks carried by Russian news wires that Romney’s statement has “strengthened Russia’s positions in talks on this important and sensitive subject,” but added that he would work with Romney if he’s elected.

“I’m grateful to him for formulating his stance so clearly, because he has once again proven the correctness of our approach to missile defense problems,” Putin said of Romney. “The most important thing for us is that even if he doesn’t win now, he or a person with similar views may come to power in four years. We must take that into consideration while dealing with security
issues for a long perspective.”

NATO has offered to cooperate with Russia on the missile shield, but the alliance has rejected Russia’s proposal to run the shield jointly.

Without a NATO-Russia cooperation deal, the Kremlin has sought guarantees from the U.S. that any future shield is not aimed at Russia and threatened to aim missiles at the U.S. shield if no agreement is reached.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...8eb_story.html
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Old April 24th, 2009 #15
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Russia's Medvedev says US missile shield plans complicate arms balance

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Monday that U.S. plans for a missile shield in Europe threaten to disrupt the weapons balance between the two countries.

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Old July 12th, 2010 #16
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Quote:
Putin’s real crime is that he has refused to play by the rules of globalization. In fact, he has done something rather remarkable, indeed, unheard of these days in most Western countries—he has sought to pursue policies that truly are in Russia’s interest. Putin recently commented, “Russians will never allow for the development of the country along a destructive path, the way it happened in some countries in the post-Soviet space.” In other words, Putin is uninterested in Wilsonian crusades in the Middle East, undermining his own economy with suicidal free-trade pacts, driving down wages with Third World immigration, or turning over Russia’s beloved oil and gas assets to multinational corporations. Putin is doing what he was elected to do: protect Russia.

And in doing so, Putin has proven himself a true Russian patriot. Concerning immigration, Putin has instigated rules to make even Rep. Tom Tancredo appear coy. Recognizing that illegal immigrants are driving down wages in an already depressed economy as well as inciting anger among Russia’s native lower classes, Putin has steered towards a path of attrition. He has sought to reduce the presence of foreign workers at wholesale and retail markets, which had become magnets to illegal immigrants. He said that authorities should “protect the interests of Russian producers” and “the native population of Russia.” In other words, Russians first.
Encouraging.

There is genetic-saving wisdom in a strategic retreat for the White race from all over the world into Russia. Good for Russia. Good for the White race. (Too bad the dominant language in Russia is Russian -- not an easy language to learn -- even a different alphabet.) I think Russia would welcome, for instance, White South Africans. Unfortunately, an ever increasing number of White SA's can no longer AFFORD to emigrate to Russia -- as the anti-white discriminatory business governmental policies force more and more Whites into poverty. Nevertheless, many White SA's could be saved. It would be wonderful for Putin to openly encourage such a migration to one of the historical White motherlands of our people -- and to back this up by paying the emigration costs.
 
Old November 3rd, 2014 #17
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First they spat angry words at Remy Bazie. Then they struck him in the face with an iron bar, knocking him unconscious.

The men who jumped the Ivory Coast migrant at a crowded Moscow train station last November did not rob him. But they damaged his jaw to the degree that doctors had to install a metal plate to hold it in place. It took Bazie four months to raise the $3,600 to undergo surgery.

"Most of the time I'm harassed, but this was the worst experience," Bazie, 28, said recently as he sat at a parish community center in Moscow where African migrants often seek refuge.

His story is not uncommon, Russian civil and human rights leaders say. African migrants face widespread hostility and racism that usually go unpunished.

According to the SOVA Center for Information and Analysis, a Moscow-based advocacy group and think tank, 177 acts of violence against blacks have been reported in Russia since 2010.

But rights advocates said interviews with Africans living in the capital, as well as anecdotal evidence, indicate that a far higher number have been victims of racial attacks and experienced race-based harassment. Most, however, never report the assaults, the advocates said.

"Living here in Russia is like living in hell on Earth," said Osman Kamara, 35, a Liberian who fled civil conflict in his homeland 10 years ago, only to fall victim to a skinhead attack in Moscow. "They don't like our color. Going out is a problem. Maybe if you go out, you might not return."

Some Africans say that after arriving here, they heard the Russian word "obezyana" directed at them so often that they initially thought it meant "black person." It means "monkey."

http://www.latimes.com/world/africa/...ry.html#page=1
 
Old December 9th, 2014 #18
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The Russian budget is on track to lose 331 billion rubles ($6 billion) next year as the economy veers toward recession, news agency TASS quoted Russia's Audit Chamber head Tatyana Golikova as saying Tuesday.

The statement comes shortly after the Economic Development Ministry slashed its economic growth forecast, officially predicting a 0.8 percent decline in GDP for 2015.

The price of oil has plummeted more than 40 percent since June, playing havoc with the weakened Russian economy and, in particular, with the federal budget, which gets half of its revenues from energy taxes.

The recently passed budget for 2015-17 assumes an oil price of $100 per barrel — a figure that now looks increasingly out of reach. The Economic Development Ministry has lowered its forecast to $80 next year, which is still above Tuesday's level of about $67 per barrel.

The Audit Chamber's estimate of Russia's losses, however, falls far short of other figures named. In late November, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the budget stood to lose 1 trillion rubles ($18 billion) in 2015.

The revenue loss will put severe strain on a budget already under pressure from heightened spending on defense and public sector wages.

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/busine...15/513040.html
 
Old December 9th, 2014 #19
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The head of an anti-corruption watchdog said Tuesday that one in three Russian officials still accepts bribes, undermining top officials' claims of success in the fight against endemic corruption.

"About 30 percent of officials … are corrupt," National Anti-Corruption Committee head Kirill Kabanov said in an interview with Russian News Service radio.

Russia is still struggling to free itself from the legacy of the 1990s and 2000s, when officials with measly public salaries and little oversight profited off a plethora of corrupt practices.

According to Kabanov, the real problem now is "corrupt business" — enterprises built to extract money from the state.

"Unless we eliminate corrupt business itself, the fight with corrupt officials is just mowing the lawn. The more you mow, the more professional the people who engage in corrupt business become," Kabanov said.

Just one day before Kabanov's statement, presidential administration chief Sergei Ivanov declared progress in the fight against corruption, saying Russian officials are increasingly reporting on people who offer them bribes.

More than 3,000 such complaints have been received this year, which speaks to a rising sense of responsibility among officials, Ivanov said.

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/busine...pt/513033.html
 
Old December 14th, 2014 #20
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Rain TV, one of Russia’s last news outlets critical of the Kremlin, has been forced to quit its Moscow premises for the second time in as many months, in the latest indication of the hostile environment that independent media face.

The digital channel, whose programmes contrast sharply with the country’s state-run media, later resumed broadcasts from a private apartment.

Rain TV (Dozhd TV in Russian) was handed a Monday deadline to quit its premises in the former “Red October” chocolate factory, a hip area of central Moscow known for its bars and art galleries.

Officially, its landlord told the channel to leave after it ran a controversial poll about the siege of Leningrad during World War Two, asking if the city should have surrendered to the Nazi invaders.

A journalist at Rain TV, who wished to remain anonymous, told FRANCE 24 the poll was just a pretext.

“It is typical of modern Russian politics to bring up the Great Patriotic War [as Russians refer to WWII] in order to silence all debate,” he said.

“Almost all that Russia has done in Ukraine [over the past year] has been justified by the so-called fight against fascism.”

The Leningrad poll prompted angry comments on Twitter, where many users accused Rain TV of denigrating Soviet soldiers who fought in the war.

Soon, the Twitter backlash was making headlines on pro-Kremlin media and Russian lawmakers called for the channel to be shut down.

The TV was not pulled off the air, but was instead barred from several satellite services, effectively depriving it of audience and cash. Then came the landlord’s eviction notice.

Crackdown at home, charm offensive abroad

Rain TV is far from the only Russian media to have been squeezed through a mix of intimidation and harassment.

In March, the editor of independent news site Lenta.ru was replaced with a pro-Kremlin figure, prompting dozens of journalists to quit in protest.

The issue of media freedom in Russia acquired new relevance this year as violence gripped neighbouring Ukraine, which pro-Kremlin news outlets say is prey to fascist thugs manipulated by the US.

News of Rain TV’s latest woes comes amid Russian efforts to expand the country’s international media ventures in order to counter “Western propaganda”.

Last month, state-funded Rossiya Segodnya launched the Sputnik news agency, named after the Soviet space programme.

The new international outlet will operate “multimedia hubs” in several foreign cities, designed to counter what Moscow describes as Washington’s unipolar view of the world.

This unprecedented investment abroad coincides with the demise of independent news outlets back home, says the Rain TV journalist.

“The Kremlin wants to use RT and Sputnik to promote its point of view and Russian prestige abroad. We know they are putting a lot of money into this propaganda, some say 15 billion rubles [22 million euros, editor’s note], it’s huge!” he said.

At the same time, voices of dissent are being silenced at home, a move critics say is motivated by Moscow’s fears that independent media might foment a revolution similar to the one that swept Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovich from power.

http://www.france24.com/en/20141210-...lenta-ukraine/
 
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