‘Russian spies interfered with Nobel Committee to prevent Poroshenko Peace Prize’ and other neglected Russian stories

This letter fabricated by the Russian spy services was intended to incriminate the USA and Ukraine in manipulating decisions of the Nobel Committee, if Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015, according to Norwegian investigators (Image: NRK.no)

This letter fabricated by the Russian spy services was intended to incriminate the USA and Ukraine in manipulating decisions of the Nobel Committee, if Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015, according to Norwegian investigators (Image: NRK.no) 

2017/02/04 • Analysis & Opinion, News, Russia

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.

Consequently, Windows on Eurasia presents a selection of 13 of these other and typically neglected stories at the end of each week. This is the 69th such compilation. It is only suggestive and far from complete – indeed, once again, one could have put out such a listing every day — but perhaps one or more of these stories will prove of broader interest.

1. Putinists have Sent Abroad More than Half What Russia Earned from Selling Oil and Gas

In the 17 years since Vladimir Putin came to power, Russia has received some 2.5 trillion US dollars from the sale of oil and gas abroad more than enough to develop the country and address its many needs. But the Kremlin leader and his cronies sent more than half of that abroad so as to enrich themselves rather than invest it on Russia. That is just part of what must be included in any balance sheet of his rule. Other parts are harder to monetarize, but the invasion of other countries, the suppression of democracy and various freedoms and his encouragement of some of the worst aspects of Russians must also be included on any such assessment.

2. Trump Gets Even More Russian Media Mentions than Putin Last Month

According to a new statistical analysis, the Russian media mentioned Donald Trump even more often than it did Vladimir Putin during January. And with the mentions has come a wave of Trumpomania, perhaps the most extreme form being the decision of a Sochi resident to have profiles of Trump and Putin engraved on his teeth.

A resident of Sochi resident in Russia had profiles of Trump and Putin engraved on his teeth (Image: video capture)

Image: video capture

3. As Economic Crisis Deepens, Some Say Cannibalism Might have to be Legalized

With the deepening of the economic crisis in Russia, the purchasing power of ordinary Russians declining, and shortages of basic foods like rice being reported, some Russians speculate that the country might have to legalize cannibalism so that the population would have enough to eat.

Among the flood of bad news about the Russian economy this week were the following stories:

Not all the economic news was bad, especially in the defense sector and for the rich. Bloomberg says the Russian economy did slightly better than reported earlier because of a new accounting method that includes outyear plans for defense spending, new ways for laundering money to send abroad have come into play, and Moscow is offering special tours to the North Pole on its nuclear-powered icebreaker over the next two years. The cost? Just under 28,000 US dollars per person, far beyond the reach of most Russians or others as well.

4. Non-Russians Don’t Share Russian View that Beating is a Sign of Love

As Moscow’s new law eliminating criminal punishments for violence within families is set to go into force and the country’s largest newspaper tells its readers that women should welcome beatings because those who are beaten are more likely to give birth to sons, a survey among Russia’s northern peoples finds that few of them share the widespread belief among Russians that beatings are a sign of love.

But that was just one of the developments in Russian society this past week worthy of note. Others include:

5. Moscow Metro Wanted Aleksandr Nevsky but ‘Like Always’ Got Darth Vader Instead

Russia’s monument wars continued the past week, with some conflicts intensifying and other unexpected developments emerging. Perhaps the most amusing of the latter was a decision to put up pictures of Aleksandr Nevsky in the Moscow metro, a project that came crashing down when the pictures put up resembled Darth Vader of Star Wars’ Evil Empire than the Russian prince who allied with the Mongols against the Teutonic knights.

Some other flashpoints in this war in no particular order included:

  • Black Hundreds-style rhetoric increasingly surfaced among Russian Orthodox activists who want St. Isaac’s cathedral back and who say they will burn theaters which show a film they don’t approve of
  • Residents of the nuclear scientist city Obninsk object to plans for building a church there in honor of Russia’s nuclear weapons program
  • Moscow officials try tirelessly but ineffectively to remove flowers and signs from site of the murder of Boris Nemtsov
  • Roman Catholics and Old Believers say they are inspired by the success of getting Russian Orthodox churches back and plan to launch their own campaigns for the churches seized from their communities in Soviet times
  • Activists denounced the Yeltsin Center as “a neopaganist shrine” and demanded it be closed as such
  • Izhevsk city officials said they were worried Moscow would not deliver to them the 21 billion rubles it had promised for the jubilee of the creator of the Kalashnikov rifle
  • Moscow will erect a memorial to those who died in the recent crash of a military plane over the Black Sea and also name a square for Fidel Castro
  • And Volgograd as it does every year according to a Putin law became Stalingrad for a day on the anniversary of the World War II battle there. But other evidence of Stalin’s more continuing return to Russian life included the discovery that the ombudsman responsible for children’s welfare in Yaroslavl has a picture of Stalin with a child.

6. Russian Hackers Seek Release Files Intended to Discredit IOC Anti-Doping Investigation

Hackers who have been linked to Moscow have leaked documents that seek to present the IOC investigation into the doping scandal as a political witch hunt. But more evidence of widespread use of permanence enhancing drugs by Russian athletes continue to surface. Meanwhile, 24 Russian athletes who have been stripped of their medals are ignoring demands they return them, even apparently when Russian sports authorities have acknowledged that there were violations and stripped a Russian athlete of a medal, an action apparently intended to curry favor with the West or at least sow confusion.

Russia will not take part in the 2018 Paralympic Games, but the push to strip Russia of the FIFA World Cup appears to be easing at least in the US in the wake of Donald Trump’s election and shift on Russia. And that is happening despite growing evidence that Moscow will not have put the infrastructure in place that it promised as part of its agreement with FIFA to host that competition.

7. Russia’s Jews, Feeling the Chill of Anti-Semitism, Leaving for Israel

Duma deputy speaker Petr Tolstoy’s remark about the role of Jews in seizing and destroying Russian churches a century ago has been condemned by many, but it has opened the floodgates for others who want to go back to blaming Jews for all their problems.

Russia’s relatively few remaining Jews, feeling the chill of anti-Semitism, are moving as rapidly as possible to Israel and now outnumber Jews repatriating there from any other country.

8. Is There a Muslim Maidan in Moscow’s Future?

Mufti Ravil Gainutdin, head of the Council of Muftis of Russia, says that widespread Russian discrimination against Muslims may force the latter consider organizing a Maidan in Russia in order to defend their rights.

That Russia has repressed and even killed numerous Muslims in recent years has been documented by the Golos Islam portal, and that Russians dislike Muslims more than almost any other European country has also been documented. But on that point, there are some interesting nuances:

  • Russians don’t like Muslims but they are less opposed to the wearing of the hijab than are many others
  • And they are less inclined to be hostile to members of Muslim nationalities than they were a decade ago precisely because they are more fearful of conflicts arising abroad.

9. Russians Fall for New Game that Encourages Them to Be Snitches Like Pavlik Morozov

One of the most noxious heroes of Soviet times was the boy Pavlik Morozov who was killed by relatives for turning in his parents to the authorities. Now, he is making a comeback as a hero in Russia, and the idea that turning people in to the authorities is a good thing for Russians to do is being encouraged not only by new laws but by a newly-popular computer game.

10. Russians Worrying about Baby Boom – in China

The effective end of the one-child policy in China has led to a baby boom in that country, and some Russians are now worried that this demographic development will lead Beijing to look northward to the underpopulated areas of the Russian Federation east of the Urals, given that Russia is definitely not experiencing a baby boom of its own.

11. Russian Spies Interfered with Nobel Committee to Prevent Peace Prize from Going to Poroshenko

The Russian government was sufficiently concerned that the Nobel Peace Prize might be awarded to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that it launched an ‘active measure‘ campaign via the Russian special services SVR/FSB to prevent that from happening, according to Scandinavian investigators.

12. Most Russian Siloviki and Officials are Imperial Chauvinists, Kurbanov Says

Ruslan Kurbanov, a specialist on the Caucasus at the Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies, says that “a significant fraction” of Russia’s siloviki and other officials “are infected with imperial chauvinism” and that this limits their effectiveness.

13. This Week’s Good Russian: Aeroflot Pilot Saves Deportee from Certain Death

A pilot for Aeroflot having been told that there was a man on his flight who was being deported to a Middle Eastern country where he almost certainly would be killed stopped the plane and allowed the man to get off and flee in order to avoid that outcome.

 

And six more from countries neighboring Russia:

1. Extremist Materials on Kazakh Web Growing ‘Exponentially’

Kazakh officials are extremely worried by what they say is the “exponential” growth of extremist materials of all kinds on the Internet in Kazakhstan in both Kazakh and Russian languages.

2. Kazakhs Living in Tajikistan Forgetting Their Native Language

The Russian language is not the only threat to non-Russian languages, experts say. Other non-Russian ones can be a threat as well if members of one group living in a place dominated by speakers of another lose their native tongue. That is now happening, Astana says, with some ethnic Kazakhs who live in Tajikistan.

3. Crimean Tatars Experience Ethnic Hatred Eight Times More than Minorities in Russia

According to a new survey conducted for the Russian Federal Agency for Nationality Affairs, Crimean Tatars in Russian-occupied Crimea are nearly eight times more likely to say they have suffered from discrimination and the hostility of other groups than are ethnic minorities in the Russian Federation, with 38 percent making such declarations compared to five percent by the other ethnic communities.

4. Moscow Now Recognizes LNR and DNR Passports as Travel Documents

Even though this step violates international law and opens Aeroflot and other carriers to possible sanctions, Moscow has decided to recognize the passports issued by its sponsored territorial entities within Ukraine the so-called “Luhansk Peoples Republic” and the “Donetsk Peoples Republic” as travel documents that Russian officials and firms will accept as travel documents equivalent to the passports of actual countries.

5. Lukashenka Says ‘Fraternal Ukraine’ Fighting for Its Independence

In dramatic fashion, Belarusian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka has positioned himself in opposition to Moscow by declaring that “fraternal Ukraine” is fighting for its independence, a statement that is far tougher than those made by many Western governments concerning the new upsurge in fighting.

Indeed, the US Department of State in its initial statement didn’t mention Russia by name in its condemnation of the fighting at Avdiivka.

6. Moscow Lies When It Says It Invented Belarusian Language in 1926, Minsk Scholar Says

Russian officials who present “alternative facts” about Belarus and the Belarusian language are simply lying, a Minsk historian says, noting that the idea that Moscow “invented” both in 1926 is contradicted by all available information about Belarusian history.


Related:

 

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Mephisto

    number 1 on the list should be the prime line of attack against Putler – using intelligence services to investigate russian money laundering abroad and then leaking the details back to Russia, possibly even confiscating the property.

    • туфтуф

      On what grounds can a president who is responsible for suspected war crimes, be nominated for peace prize? Ridiculous. Only after a court clears him can such questions be discussed.

      • Brent

        The only people that think of Poroshenko are mindless sheeple like you TOTO who can only regurgitate the propaganda their Kremlin masters tell them to spew

        • туфтуф

          My friends on the ground all hate him. Ultras cus he s enriching himself on the blood of his ppl, republicans cus he s killing their children.

          • Vol Ya

            You don’t have any friends on the ground you Russian troll. Stop with the lies. You are a pathetic loser and liar.

          • туфтуф

            No friends? Ok. Here s a message l received from Death lncarnate this morning. His name is Dejan Berich and is wanted for killing 100’s of Ukrainian soldiers. In it he apologises to me for not sending me more e mails cus he s busy smoking the ukros. Further, he says that his group wasted so many last night that they were unable to count the corpses. He also says that ukri dnt bury their dead. The e mail header l had to edit out coz this is being read by comp experts who can determine the location based on e mail. Not cus l want to protect him, but l hate being involved in anyone’s death. I support the territorial integrity of Ukraine and am helping as much as l can. My pro Russian rants should be taken as warnings as to what are the weak points of Ukrainian defence. The letter reads:

            Ovde potpuna tisina drugu noc.
            Tako su dobili po guzici da je to strasno.
            Dobro ce da razmisle kad krenu onovo napred.
            Imali smo gubitaka ,ali to je rat. medjutim kod njih je strasno.
            Sto je najgore , nesahranjuju svoje mrtve , tek jedan mali deo sto su javno rekli da su izgubili, vecinu pale u krematorijumima.
            Uskoro se moze ocekivati da bude novi izvestaj ukrainske armije otme kako je veliki broj vojnika dezertirao i oni nemaju poima gde us pobegli. Kad se porodica obrati u vojni odsek oni kazu vas sin, muz je dezerter i vise nam nedolazite .
            Eto drzave koja salje pravo u smrt i posle se okazuje od svojih ljudi.
            Sve vise sam uveren da ce u otku ove godine da se sve zavrsi
            Izvinjavam se sto neodgovaram na poruke ali skoro da ih i nepogleda, previse ih je a vremena se nema.

          • Dale Davies

            What a Bozo!

          • Alex George

            LOL “death incarnate”!!!!

            “obesity smokes too much and has fantasies about being important” is more like it. ;o)

          • туфтуф

            Its true. Ultras dnt like that the oligarchs didnt let go of their assets and use the killing of their own ppl in order to further enrich themselves, sending ultras as cannom fodder cus they are afraid of them. If l knew the legal definition of genocide, l wld call this “double genocide”.

          • Alex George

            LOL You have no friends on the ground. And you have no idea what is happening in Ukraine.

      • Vol Ya

        Putin is destroying Russia, check out Russia’s rising poverty and disease rates and declining life expectancy. So what is putin’s response to those problems. He hires losers like this
        Russian troll to spread lies about Ukraine.

        • туфтуф

          One thing is causing poverty, another thing is openly promising to a part of the population of his own country that their children will live in cellars (an allusion to bomb shelters) will be unable to go to school (coz of shelling) and will have nothing to eat. I dnt know the legal definition of genocide, but a court needs to decide. Should u require a youtube link, l will be more than happy to post it here.

          • Dale Davies

            The genocide is Pootlerstan instigated and maintained chit!

          • туфтуф

            Genocide takes place in every war. I hope Potroshenko will somehow prove it in a court of law.

          • Alex George

            No, genocide does not “take place in every war”. That is the excuse use by those who perpetrate genocide.

            Where the Kremlin is involved, it is probably true.

          • Alex George

            True, so Putin should not do those things.

      • Dale Davies

        Only in Pootlerstan troll minds are there “suspected war crimes”against duly elected President Petro Poroshenko, after the criminal thug Yanukobytch was removed and basically impeached by members of his own political party.
        Now if you wish to bring up the obvious war crimes of little goat Bad Vlad…..
        As you stated, only after a court clears him.
        As to ewe, maybe you will get caught in a radical muslim incursion situation.

        • туфтуф

          Every time l see ur comment, even without reading it, l vote u up. It must be love….

          • Alex George

            That’s fair enough, since you know you cannot answer a single one of his points. ;o)

    • туфтуф

      I vote to have the Kremlin confiscated. Or failing that, the most beautiful city in the world in its entirety: petrograd. Lol

  • туфтуф

    Direct aggression: Russian Cossacs, who are by law forbidden to take part in military operations outside Russia, are coming to defend the ppl of Donbass from the illegal Kiev “gvt” troops. My estimate: rivers of blood will flow on all sides.

    http://sannews.com.ua/2017/02/srochno-kazaki-sobirayutsya-nachat-osvobozhdenie-donbassa-i-ukrainy-ot-banderovshhiny.html

    • Brent

      You should volunteer to join them to become Buryat cannon fodder

      • туфтуф

        I cnt. One has either to be Russian or Serb, be orthodox , hold fasts…and am too old to fight. But u seem ur young. Instead of writing stoopid sh*t from the comfort of your Canadian home, you could do more by moving your ass and stop eating Big macs and fries.

        • Dale Davies

          Dumb arse poopinstan chit!

          • туфтуф

            Voted u up luvvie. Muff ok?

        • Alex George

          In other words, you have no contacts and no friends there.

          Just an old windbag who wishes he was important .

      • туфтуф

        Buryats are awesome snipers. Many an ukro soldiers died at their hands. Thats coz they rely mostly on hunting to feed their families.

    • Murf

      More fuel for the crematorium’s fire.
      Their bodies cook down like all the others.

      • туфтуф

        Serbs are there too….have a pic of them on a tank, with Dejan Berich who s wanted dead or alive by SBU, with $1 million bounty prize on his head coz he s a sniper and smoked many ukros. I know him well. He collects memorabilia from his victims. Some are kool, others too gruesome to write about.

        • Vol Ya

          Putin is bankrupting Russia, the population of Russia is declining, so what does putin do. He hires a loser like this Russian troll to write lies about Ukraine.

          • туфтуф

            But Serbs bee dangerous. Did u read my friends e mail? It wont appear on cnn.

          • Alex George

            If that is meant to be a reference to Dejan Beric, he is a publicity seeker who has never been confirmed as doing anything in the Donbass except take selfies. ;o)

          • туфтуф

            I personally saw trophies. He has a strange custom to take smth from almost every ultra he smokes. Wierd.

        • Alex George

          Oh you mean Dejan Beric? The publicity-seeker who admitted that he was the only Serb in Donetsk.

          So far as I am aware there is no price on his head. That’s not what the Ukrainians do, and in any case there is no evidence that he has actually done anything whilst in Ukraine except take selfies and post them on Facebook.

          He claimed back in June that he was leaving Donbass becasue of multiple concussions. I am not sure that anyone on either side took any notice. But since he is a wanted criminal in Serbia, I guess he had no alternative but to stay in Donbass.

    • Vol Ya

      Putin is destroying Russia so he needs trolls like this idiot to spread lies about Ukraine.

    • Alex George

      More likely rivers of urine from these fake cossacks. They are useless.

  • Murf

    “In the 17 years since Vladimir Putin came to power, Russia has received some 2.5 trillion US dollars from the sale of oil and gas abroad more than enough to develop the country and address its many needs.”
    2.5 Trillion gone!
    That could have transformed the Russian economy.
    Now what do they have to show for it?

    • Vol Ya

      Putin and his oligarch friends have stolen billions and enriched themselves, and they have created the biggest criminal organization in the world.

    • Dale Davies

      Bunch of people in graves or gulag!

  • Vol Ya

    Putin is leading Russia down the wrong path from which it will never recover: rising poverty and disease rates and declining life expectancy. Putin’s response to these problems in Russia is to attack other countries and try to create instability in them and to pay Russian trolls to spread lies and misinformation.

  • zorbatheturk

    ruZZians will soon be building statues of Putin everywhere.

  • Xeroi Ato

    It’s clearly a Putinist conspiracy that Poroshenko didn’t recieve a Nobel Peace prize. He was CLEARLY the number one candidate.