Anti-Putin regime protester Ildar Dadin received 3 years of prison for 4 peaceful single-person protests in Moscow including the one in the photo. His sign says “Stay Quiet -- Then When They Will Come for You Tomorrow, the Next Will Stay Quiet about You." (Image: Social media)
The flood of news stories from a country as large, diverse and strange as the Russian Federation often appears to be is far too large for anyone to keep up with. But there needs to be a way to mark those which can’t be discussed in detail but which are too indicative of broader developments to ignore.
- Stalin Drew Wolves but Putin Doodles. A photographer has captured Vladimir Putin doodling as he gives an interview (novynyuk.blogspot.com/2015/12/blog-post_172.html). But he can’t always hold his audience: Dmitry Medvedev again slept through part of Putin’s speech and he can’t tell the truth.
- Putin Updates Nazi Vocabulary. A Moscow commentator shows the ways Vladimir Putin has updated Hitler’s words, as Russian historians have shown the way Hitler copied Stalin’s techniques, including horrific medical experiments on inmates.
- The Russian Orthodox Church Says Pray to Putin and Treat Other Faiths as Foreign Agents. Patriarch Kirill has been petitioned by a religious organization to have the church approve a special prayer for Russians to Vladimir Putin. And the Moscow Patriarchate wants the Duma to extend the “foreign agents” law to religious groups.
- Turkish Crisis Catches Russia with Its Pants Down. Vladimir Putin’s ban on imports from Turkey has created numerous problems, the most humorous being Moscow’s inability to produce anti-Turkish t-shirts; the most serious being that Russians may not be able to buy new underwear as most of that now on sale comes from Turkey. Perhaps these problems provide additional evidence for one Moscow scholar’s contention that Russia has now finally succeeded Turkey as “the sick man of Europe.”
- Russians Don’t Need Tolerance: They have ‘Friendship of the Peoples.’ A conference of regime ideologists has concluded that Russians don’t need the false Western value of tolerance because they have “friendship of the peoples,” even though Soviet behavior thoroughly discredited that term for almost everyone.
- Russian Internet Both ‘More Mobile’ and a Lot Less. A new study finds that Russians increasingly go online via mobile devices. In what may be an ironic related development, Russian officials have announced that Wi-Fi will soon be available at several of Moscow’s largest cemeteries.
- Silantyev Wants to ‘De-Turkify Islam’ in Russia. Roman Silantyev, a specialist on Islam with close ties to the Russian Orthodox Church, has called for “de-Turkifying Islam” in the Russian Federation, an appeal which fits in with the current anti-Turkish hysteria and also reflects the fact that many in Russia divide Islam not between Sunni and Shiia but between Turkish and Iranian. If Silantyev’s plan were to be implemented, there would be far fewer Sunni mullahs and far more Iranian Shiite imams.
- Crimeans Who Say They Have No Electricity Face 15 Days In Prison. The Russian occupation authorities have said that those Crimeans who say they have no electricity will face criminal penalties. And these authorities have also announced that they will “never recognize” the United States.
- As Crime Rises with Economic Decline, Russia Opens World’s Largest Prison. Russian statistics show that crime in Russia is on the rise, a natural result experts say of the decline in the standard of living. Russian officials are ready, however. They’ve announced that they have opened what is the world’s largest prison.
- Official Who Owns Villa Abroad Tells Russians Foreign Vacations are ‘Harmful to their Health.’ A senior Russian official has told Russians that taking vacations abroad would be harmful to their health, a position he maintains even though he owns a vacation home abroad.
- Finno-Ugric Nations to Develop Their Own Computer Terminology. Instead of simply borrowing from Russian–which in this area has borrowed mostly from English–Finno-Ugric nations in the Russian Federation say they will develop their own computer terminology, drawing on words from the three Finno-Ugric peoples who currently have their own countries, Estonia, Finland and Hungary.
- Lake Baikal a ‘Well for China?’ In a development that will enrage some Russians, a Chinese firm is now taking water from Lake Baikal and sending it back to a thirsty China, a move that has prompted one Russian site to ask whether the lake is on its way to becoming “a well for China.”
- Russian Updates Pastor Niemoeller’s Aphorism. Reacting to the spread of repressive measures from one group to another in Putin’s Russia, many there and elsewhere now recall Pastor Niemoeller’s observation of why he didn’t protest Nazi attacks on groups he wasn’t a member of and what that led to. Now a Russian has come up with an update: He held a sign saying “Stay Quiet — Then When They Will Come for You Tomorrow, the Next Will Stay Quiet about You.”