‘Russians increasingly looking beyond Putin’ and other neglected Russian stories

A woman dressed as Russia in a blood-stained outfit and holding a national flag chained herself to a Lenin statue in Novosibirsk to protest deteriorating human rights and increasing poverty in Russia. The large sign attached to the flag said: "I Am Dying." Three smaller signs hanging off the chain said: "Police," "Fear" and "Censorship." August 22, 2017 (Image: Alyona Martynova / Sib.fm)

A woman dressed as Russia in a blood-stained outfit and holding a national flag chained herself to a Lenin statue in Novosibirsk to protest deteriorating human rights and increasing poverty in Russia. The large sign attached to the flag said: "I Am Dying." Three smaller signs hanging off the chain said: "Police," "Fear" and "Censorship." August 22, 2017 (Image: Alyona Martynova / Sib.fm) 

International, More

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 each week presents a selection of these other and typically neglected stories at the end of each week. This is the 97th such compilation, and it is again a double issue with 26 from Russia and 13 from Russia’s neighbors. Even then, it is far from complete, but perhaps one or more of these stories will prove of broader interest.

1. Russians Increasingly Looking Beyond Putin

Even though Putin almost certainly will be reelected if he runs, ever more Russians are looking beyond him and his era, a development that is making him effectively a lame duck. One Russian has asked “is there life after Putin?” (svpressa.ru/politic/article/179615/). The compiling of possible successor lists has underscored that he won’t be in office forever (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=599A73FAA5D59). Putin himself has added fuel to this fire by talking about the qualities a Russian leader must have (newsland.com/community/5652/content/putin-nazval-glavnye-kachestva-rukovoditelia-strany/5962895).

And ever more Russians are talking about how hard it will be to cure Russia of Putinism (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5997D3EBE4512). Nonetheless, the Putin cult continues to grow with some wanting to put the visage of the Kremlin leader on Russian currency (rbc.ru/politics/21/08/2017/599ae7129a794787663ee436?from=main), and other suggesting that Putin may cease to be president only to become “an Orthodox ayatollah” (business-gazeta.ru/article/355246).

Other Putin developments:

2. ‘Is Trump Still US President?’

After obsessing about US President Donald Trump for most of the last six months, now Russians appear to be forgetting about him, even asking in some cases whether he is still in power (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=599D6AFE38130 and ura.news/articles/1036271923). There was a brief flurry of new interest when Russian outlets picked up Western stories that Trump is unhappy about the new Russian sanctions (regions.ru/news/2609734/).

3. Will Kremlin’s Use of Dating Service Boost Voter Turnout?

Given that the results of voting are predetermined but the level of participation is low, Russian political technologists are trying all kinds of things to boost the latter, including employing a dating service to get young people to the polls (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=599A91F380EA9 and newsland.com/community/6399/content/pamfilova-posetovala-na-slozhnost-vosstanovleniia-doveriia-naseleniia-k-vyboram/5966021).

Other political developments worthy of note:

4. More Russians Move into Shadow Economy as Putin Makes That Easier

The shadow economy in Russia is growing with some 33 million workers (ng.ru/economics/2017-08-24/1_7058_shadow.html), and Putin is making this trend easier by cutting back on government inspections of firms (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5998144705DFD).

Other macro-economic news includes:

5. How Bad are Things for Ordinary Russians?

Samara residents are now buying dog meat for food (agonia-ru.com/archives/10710), and ten percent of Urals residents say they’ll have sex with bosses to get hired or be promoted (politsovet.ru/56320-kazhdyy-desyatyy-ekaterinburzhec-gotov-na-seks-radi-polucheniya-raboty.html).

More than half of Russians haven’t been to a restaurant or a movie in the last year (takiedela.ru/news/2017/08/22/ni-kina-ni-vina/), and real Russian pay remains less than half what officials say it is (newsland.com/community/5442/content/realnaia-sredniaia-zarplata-v-rossii-pochti-v-2-raza-menshe-ofitsialnoi/5966121).

Adding insult to injury, Russian officials have described the recent decline of Russian incomes as “a technical adjustment” (newsland.com/community/4788/content/v-pravitelstve-nazvali-tekhnicheskim-padenie-dokhodov-rossiian/5964895).

One-third of pensioners now have to work to make ends meet (newsland.com/community/4765/content/attraktsion-neslykhannoi-shchedrosti/5964758), and Russians say they see no end to the crisis (newsland.com/community/4788/content/dokhody-rossiian-padeniiu-kontsa-ne-vidno/5962974).

6. Income Divide Only Deepens

Poor Russians spent on average 4,000 rubles (62 US dollars) to get children ready to go back to school; rich ones spent as much as 300,000 rubles (5,000 US dollars) (znak.com/2017-08-22/princ_i_nichiy_podgotovit_shkolnika_k_1_sentyabrya_stoit_ot_4000_do_300_000_rubley).

The wealthiest have one trillion US dollars stashed abroad, about 75 percent of the country’s total wealth (echo.msk.ru/news/2042154-echo.html, regnum.ru/news/economy/2313086.html, svpressa.ru/economy/article/179815/?rpop=1 and nakanune.ru/articles/113205/).

The Russian rich continue to buy up property abroad (znak.com/2017-08-24/druzya_putina_okazalis_vladelcami_starinnoy_villy_iz_sherloka_holmsa) and to support high-end stores in Moscow (rbc.ru/newspaper/2017/08/24/599c62509a79477ceaaaefd2).

What the Russian rich don’t do is give to charity: only one Russian billionaire has pledged to give away his wealth (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2017/08/23/73561-milliarder-dlya-truschob). That is offensive to many poor Russians who give a far higher share of their incomes (iq.hse.ru/news/208432918.html).

7. ‘Property for Sale; Residents Convey’

In what some Russians see as a return to serfdom, Russians are now selling property with an indication that the residents “convey” to the new owner (ru/news/incident/22-08-2017/krepostnaya-istoriya-v-tyumeni-prodali-zemlyu-s-lyudmi-na-vyvod).

Other social news:

8. Being Elderly in Russia Means ‘We Hope You’ll Die Soon’

Russia’s elderly are increasingly invisible even though they are more numerous and some say that the attitude of others is that “we hope you’ll die soon” as the only thing you have to look forward to is the cemetery (snob.ru/profile/27352/blog/128059, newsland.com/community/6399/content/liudi-nevidimki-sotsiolog-o-tom-kak-zhivut-pozhilye-v-rossii/5964184 and idelreal.org/a/avariynoe-zhilye-kazan/28692223.html).

Diseases of all kinds are hitting ever more Russians but falsification of government statistics is so bad that only anecdotal evidence is available (newsland.com/community/4765/content/falsifikatsiia-meditsinskoi-statistiki-v-moskve/5962319).

Medicines are increasingly expensive or not available at all (rosbalt.ru/russia/2017/08/18/1639620.html and ng.ru/health/2017-08-23/7_7057_apteka.html).

And experts say that depression among Russians is on the rise because they don’t talk about their problems with others (fedpress.ru/news/russia/society/1841041).

9. Russians in Republics Complain about Being Forced to Learn Non-Russian Languages

Picking up on Putin’s recent comment, ethnic Russians in non-Russian republics and in Tatarstan in the first instance are complaining about being forced to study the titular languages there (regnum.ru/news/society/2314148.html and kp.ru/daily/26720.5/3745927/). Moscow has also launched an attack on Tatar nationalists (business-gazeta.ru/article/355300 and kasparov.ru/material.php?id=599D66B938555). But even Tatars who don’t speak Tatar are retaining their national identity, something that means Moscow’s obsession with language may not work out the way it assumes (business-gazeta.ru/article/354938).

Other ethnic news this week includes:

10. More Regions Delay School Openings because of Kurban Bayram

Because the Muslim holiday this year falls on the same day Russian schools are slated to open, ever more places where there are sizeable numbers of the faithful are delaying school openings until September 4, despite Russian warnings and complaints (gazeta.ru/comments/2017/08/24_e_10855730.shtml and sova-center.ru/religion/news/authorities/protection/2017/08/d37757/).

Russian commentators point out that Russian Christianity is divided from the West even by the way it represents the cross (interfax-religion.ru/?act=print&div=20339).

A leading sect hunter says many more religious groups should be banned in the same way the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been (rusk.ru/newsdata.php?idar=78786 and sova-center.ru/religion/publications/2017/08/d37672/).

The Russian Orthodox Church is expanding its cooperation agreements with regional governments even as it acquires more property (newsland.com/community/4109/content/sverdlovskoe-ministerstvo-obrazovaniia-podpisalo-soglashenie-s-rpts/5965791 and newsland.com/community/4765/content/rpts-zabiraet-rossiiu-kak-tserkov-rasshiriaet-svoi-vladeniia/5963823).

The Moscow patriarchate says it will defend priest accused of organizing ring of prostitutes (politsovet.ru/56361-rpc-budet-pomogat-svyaschenniku-obvinennomu-v-organizacii-prostitucii.html), and Patriarch Kirill has denounced extreme forms of sports (politsovet.ru/56311-patriarh-kirill-osudil-ekstremalnye-vidy-sporta.html).

11. Regions Vary Widely in Reaction to Moscow-Imposed Heads

A new study finds that some regions resist mightily when Moscow imposes a new head on them while others don’t (fedpress.ru/expert-opinion/1842927). They also vary enormously in terms of how welcoming they are to opposition parties (newsland.com/community/4765/content/vdali-ot-moskvy-rossiiskaia-oppozitsiia-organizuetsia-v-regionakh/5959671).

New fears are spreading about the number of Koreans and Chinese in the Russian Far East (versia.ru/rossiyane-begut-s-dalnego-vostoka-ix-mesto-zanimayut-korejcy-i-kitajcy).

Proponent of shifting capital from Moscow says Muscovites have no right to better life than other Russians (newsland.com/community/4788/content/iurii-krupnov-sergeiu-sobianinu-dokazhite-chto-moskva-dolzhna-zhit-luchshe-rossii/5962689).

12. Surgut Violence Makes Russians Feel Insecure

The police in Surgut handled the violence there so ineffectively than all Russians could see it even on Moscow television, and many are now thinking about acquiring guns for self-defense. The failure of the Russian Guard to protect a top Russian athlete in Khabarovsk only adds to this fear (ura.news/articles/1036271932 and echo.msk.ru/news/2042780-echo.html).In many places, demand for guns has skyrocketed (newsland.com/community/7268/content/rossiiane-ne-mogut-zashchishchatsia-kogda-ikh-rezhut-i-ubivaiut/5962306, regnum.ru/news/society/2311971.html and znak.com/2017-08-24/kalashnikov_predstavil_oruzhie_effektivnoe_protiv_teraktov_s_naezdom_na_tolpu).

In other news on domestic security;

13. War in Ukraine Wrecked Russian Military Reform, Golts Says

Aleksandr Golts, a leading independent military affairs analyst in Moscow, says that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine had the effect of torpedoing Russian military reform, putting off change as well as siphoning off enormous sums of money (themoscowtimes.com/articles/war-in-ukraine-ruined-russian-military-reform-op-ed-48110 and obozrevatel.com/finance/kryim-obhoditsya-rossii-v-3-35-mlrd-v-god-aleksashenko.htm).

Now, other experts say, Moscow can’t hope to compete militarily with the West in the way that it talks at least not anytime soon: its satellite launches are failing, it won’t have any aircraft carrier at sea for more than three years, and it won’t have a fifth generation fighter until at least 2025 (newsland.com/community/5206/content/dmitrii-goreburg-ambitsii-moskvy-v-oblasti-voenno-morskogo-flota-iavliaiutsia-boleznenno-nerealistichnymi/5962534, iz.ru/635581/evgenii-deviatiarov/tri-rossiiskikh-sputnika-ne-vyshli-na-sviaz-posle-zapuska-na-orbitu, dsnews.ua/world/rossiya-na-tri-goda-lishitsya-edinstvennogo-avianostsa-23082017104900 and forum-msk.org/material/news/13597160.html).

Moreover, Russia is going to have a hard time maintaining its current level of arms sales abroad (newsland.com/community/8211/content/rossiia-sokhranit-eksport-vooruzhenii-na-urovne-15-mlrd/5962646).

Moscow has finally acknowledged that it has only three real ports on the Pacific: the rest exist only on paper (regnum.ru/news/economy/2312940.html), and an independent expert says that Russia suffered 27,000 combat deaths in Afghanistan and not the 15,000 Moscow has admitted (ng.ru/non-fiction/2017-08-24/15_900_between.html).

14. Two-Thirds of Russians haven’t Heard of Scandal around Mathilda but Half Plan to See Film

Sixty-nine percent of Russians say they haven’t heard anything about the scandal around Mathilda, the film about the love life of the last tsar, and 47 percent plan to go see it (press/news/2017/08/25/69-ne-slyshali-o-skandale-vokrug-matildy/ and kasparov.ru/material.php?id=59A0375F8455F).

Other monument fights increasingly follow class lines (newsland.com/co munity/5442/content/borba-s-pamiatnikami-borba-klassovaia/5963207).

This week these included:

Two other developments of note: Putin favors restoring a monastery in the Kremlin (rusk.ru/newsdata.php?idar=78778) and 40 percent of Russians say Stalin had no choice but to engage in repressions (thequestion.ru/questions/286042/bolee-40-oproshennykh-rossiyan-nazvali-repressii-stalina-vynuzhdennoi-meroi-chto-vy-dumaete-po-etomu-povodu).

15. A Quieter Week on the Protest Front

With many on vacation, there were fewer protests this week than last or than are scheduled for next week and next month. The most prominent actions involved:

  • A woman dressed as Russia tying herself to a Lenin statue in Novosibirsk (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=599BC54BC064D),
  • A massive petition drive against the show trial of cinema and theater director Kirill Serebrennikov (themoscowtimes.com/news/petition-58731), and
  • An effort in St. Petersburg to take down illegal ads on streets, an action often violently resisted by those who put them up (paperpaper.ru/illegal-ads).
    A woman dressed as Russia in a blood-stained outfit and holding a national flag chained herself to a Lenin statue in Novosibirsk to protest deteriorating human rights and increasing poverty in Russia. The large sign attached to the flag said: "I Am Dying." Three smaller signs hanging off the chain said: "Police," "Fear" and "Censorship." August 22, 2017 (Image: Alyona Martynova / Sib.fm)

    A woman dressed as Russia in a blood-stained outfit and holding a national flag chained herself to a Lenin statue in Novosibirsk to protest deteriorating human rights and increasing poverty in Russia. The large sign attached to the flag said: “I Am Dying.” Three smaller signs hanging off the chain said: “Police,” “Fear” and “Censorship.” August 22, 2017 (Image: Alyona Martynova / Sib.fm)

16. Putin’s Russia Now So Repressive It is Not Possible to Work and Not Be Violating Law

A commentator says that the web of rule the Putin regime has imposed and the ways in which officials interpret laws to meet their needs mean that no one can have a job in Russia and not be violating one or another law (kp.ru/daily/26722/3748726/). A survey of Russian court decisions finds that they are becoming ever more absurd (profile.ru/obsch/item/119131-neveroyatnye-priklyucheniya-femidy-v-rossii).

Beatings in prisons are getting worse (obkorr.ru/news/5996E950D41EC.html and kavpolit.com/articles/ne_dat_dozhit_do_osvobozhdenija_za_neuchastie_v_mj-35391/).

The authorities have now put out lists of who can and can’t be asked to provide commentaries on Russian television (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=599AB8206D789).

The Agora rights group documents that Moscow is using illegal as well as legal means to observe the activities of all in Russia (raniru.org/Politics/Russia/m.263482.html).

And Nezavisimaya gazeta reports that there are now 29,000 foreigners in Russian prisons. Most are Central Asians and many are Islamist radicals (ng.ru/politics/2017-08-22/1_7056_fsin.html).

17. WADA Will Review Russia’s Status at End of September

The world anti-doping agency says it will review Russia’s status at the end of next month (regnum.ru/news/sport/2314208.html). Meanwhile, another Russian athlete has lost a medal for doping (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5996D3C854B8D and newsland.com/community/7268/content/doping-skandal-pliaski-na-trupe-rossiiskoi-federatsii-sporta/5959867).

The stadium in St. Petersburg is still far from ready for the 2018 FIFA World Cup (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2017/08/21/73550-kto-vinovat-v-tom-chto-na-stadione-zenit-arena-za-43-mlrd-rubley-vechno-protekaet-krysha), and Russia’s reserve teams aren’t ready either (regnum.ru/news/sport/2312944.html).

Meanwhile, Russian fans in Switzerland displayed the violence they are infamous for (lenta.ru/news/2017/08/20/fans/).

18. Russians Will Have to Wait Three Months, Ukrainians Only Four Days for US Visa Processing

The real cost in the US-Russian diplomatic spat is coming home to Russians. Not only will even those far from Moscow have to travel to the capital to apply, but they will have to wait on average almost three months for the process, while in Ukraine, Ukrainians will only have to wait four days (newsland.com/community/4765/content/rossiiane-budut-zhdat-vyzova-na-sobesedovanie-dlia-vizy-v-ssha-pochti-3-mesiatsa-v-kieve-vsego-4-dnia/5963993).

Adding insult to injury, US officials have announced that Russians can apply for visas in third countries which may be closer to them than Moscow is (versia.ru/posolstvo-ssha-rossiyane-mogut-podat-dokumenty-na-poluchenie-vizy-v-drugix-stranax).

19. Massive Field of Nuclear Waste Identified Near Sakhalin

Soviet dumping of all sorts of nuclear materials in the sea around Sakhalin has led a massive and dangerous environmental disaster there, experts say (newizv.ru/news/society/22-08-2017/ot-yadernyh-bomb-do-generatorov-more-u-sahalina-stalo-radioaktivnoy-svalkoy).

20. 5,000 Russian Pilots May Soon Lose Their Licenses

Russian aviation is about to take another hit. Not only are many professional pilots moving abroad for higher salaries, but the Russian authorities have announced that they may strip 5,000 pilots of their licenses and force them to re-qualify. That will cut flights and further complicate transportation in Russia (novayagazeta.ru/news/2017/08/23/134639-kommersant-uznal-o-vozmozhnom-lishenii-litsenziy-okolo-5-tysyach-deystvuyuschih-pilotov).

21. Vladimir Kirillovich Didn’t Serve in SS, House of Romanov Says

Although he had close relations with Nazi Germany, Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, the father of the chief pretender to the Russian throne, did not serve in the SS as some have suggested, according the House of Romanov (newizv.ru/news/society/24-08-2017/velikiy-knyaz-vladimir-kirillovich-ne-sluzhil-v-ss).

22. Russian Court Declares Jan Nowak Book Extremist

A Russian court says that a book by Jan Nowak, longtime Radio Free Europe Polish broadcaster, hero of the Polish underground, and much decorated Polish émigré, is extremist, an indication that Moscow courts will now be looking not just at new books but at older ones as well (kavpolit.com/articles/v_sankt_peterburge_priznali_ekstremistskoj_knigu_s-35411/).

23. Western Broadcasting in Non-Russian Languages Designed to Provoke Russians, Moscow Commentator Says

According to a Regnum writer, Western broadcasts in non-Russian languages have been intended not just to stir up non-Russian nationalism but to provoke a backlash of Russian nationalism (regnum.ru/news/polit/2311694.html).

In another media development, Life TV ended broadcasts this week (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=59971614A91FE).

24. Capitalism by Itself Couldn’t Give Russians a New Ethical System, Russian Writer Says

Many in the West and in Russia too assumed that capitalism by itself could provide Russians with a new ethical system in place of communism, but that is not the case, according to a Russian commentator. More is needed, and it hasn’t been supplied (chaskor.ru/article/dyrka_ot_etiki_40691).

25. Two Landmark Developments on Northern Sea Route

As a result of global warming and receding ice levels, a Chinese icebreaker has crossed the Central Arctic on its own thus opening the way for more Chinese shipping (thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic/2017/08/chinese-icebreaker-navigates-across-central-arctic), and a Russian tanker without icebreaker support has set a new speed record for the Northern Sea route as well (thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic/2017/08/tanker-breaks-its-own-way-through-ice-sets-speed-record-northern-sea-route).

26. Pornography Gives Russians More than First Channel Can, Moscow Expert Says

Pornography for all its moral shortcomings at least gives what it promises, a Moscow commentator says, while the government’s First Channel simply gives them nothing but meaningless chatter (newsland.com/community/4765/content/ekspert-obiasnila-pochemu-porno-luchshe-chem-pervyi-kanal/5962396).

And 13 more from countries in Russia’s neighborhood:

1. Soldiers from Nine NATO Countries March in Kyiv Military Parade

Even though many are suggesting that it will be a long time if ever before Ukraine becomes a member of the Western alliance, the symbolism of soldiers from nine NATO countries marching in a Kyiv military parade on Ukraine’s national day was lost on no one, encouraging Ukrainians and their supporters and undoubtedly infuriating Vladimir Putin and his entourage (newizv.ru/news/world/24-08-2017/na-parade-v-kieve-proshli-voennye-9-stran-nato).

2. Red Cross Says 2700 Civilians have Died in Donbas Conflict

The International Red Cross says that its research shows that 2700 civilians have died since the beginning of the Russian military intervention in the Donbas region of Ukraine (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5999382FE7727).

3. Ukrainian Journalist Tells How Much Moscow Pays for Terrorist Acts in Ukraine

A Kyiv journalist has documented how much Russian agencies pay people for carrying out terrorist attacks in Ukraine (apostrophe.ua/news/politics/government/2017-08-23/zhurnalist-rasskazal-skolko-rossiya-platit-svoim-agentam-za-podgotovku-teraktov-v-ukraine/105013).

4. Ukrainian Monument Should Show Post-Russian Countries

A Ukrainian monument to the resistance Ukrainians have shown to Russian aggression, a sword plunged into a map of the Russian Federation, would be even more powerful if it showed the post-Russian states that country is likely to disintegrate into, according to one Russian analyst (afterimpire.info/2017/08/24/kol/).

5. Minsk Invites Observers from Seven Countries for Zapad Exercise

The Belarusian government has invited observers to come to follow next month’s Zapad-2017 exercise to help ensure that the joint Russian-Belarusian exercise does not lead to more apocalyptic results (charter97.org/ru/news/2017/8/23/260665/).

6. Anti-Russian Posters Go Up in Belarus in Advance of Zapad Exercise

Posters declaring that “where the Russian army is, there is war” and calling on the Russian military to “go home and not come back” have begun to appear in Belarusian cities in advance of the Zapad exercise (newsland.com/community/7994/content/russkii-soldat-idi-domoi-poiavilis-foto-plakatov-protiv-rossiiskoi-armii-v-belarusi/5957483).

7. Moldova Asks UN to Help Force Russian Troops to Leave Transdniestria

The Moldovan government has appealed to the United Nations to help get Russian troops to leave the breakaway republic of Transdniestria and reintegrate that territory into Moldova (newsland.com/community/7149/content/moldaviia-prosit-oon-obsudit-vopros-vyvoda-rossiiskikh-voiskh-iz-pridnestrovia/5966454).

8. Estonian President Warns Against ‘Self-Occupation’

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has warned her countrymen against taking steps that constitute a “self-occupation” and limit the country’s freedom and independence (lenta.ru/news/2017/08/22/kersti/).

9. Moscow Again Stirring the Pot in Latgale

Russian activists are again seeking to promote Latgale separatism in Latvia by visits, publications and broadcasts (lenta.ru/articles/2017/08/18/latgalia/).

10. Iran Paying for Armenian Translation of Koran

Tehran is paying for a translation of the Koran into Armenian, thus making it accessible to the residents of that country (ansar.ru/rfsng/koran-snova-perevedut-na-armyanskij-yazyk).

11. Tajikistan Teetering on Edge of Bankruptcy

The Tajik government burdened by massive debt and falling revenue is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, creating instability and opening the way for expanded outside influence by Russia and China (centrasia.ru/news.php?st=1503376140).

12. HIV Infections Spreading Along Central Asian Transport Routes

Medical experts have tracked the spread of HIV infections along major transport routing in the Central Asian region, raising concerns there about the expansion of such arteries in the future (caa-network.org/archives/10049).

13. Tashkent to Open Consulate in Kazan

The Uzbekistan government is expanding its network of consulates in Russia to provide support for its gastarbeiters there. Last week, it opened one in Vladivostok; this week, it has announced that it will soon do so in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan in Russia (fergananews.com/news/26771).


Edited by: A. N.

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  1. Avatar Dagwood Bumstead says:

    Re 4.: does anybody know exactly where the two monuments- the sword driven into Dwarfstan and the Ukrainian Cossack fighting the Dwarfstanian dragon can be found in Kyiv? I must see them the next time I’m in Kyiv!

    1. Avatar Eolone says:

      Impaled Russia: intersection of Les Kurbas Avenue and Akademika Koroleva Street


      Cossack and the two-headed dragon: Volodimirskya St.

    2. Avatar Mick Servian says:

      what fanaticism???lol
      you uys are really retarded

      1. Avatar Eolone says:

        You miss the irony. Dull life?

        1. Avatar Mick Servian says:

          well it’s u on here, this anti Russian’s wet dream..lol
          u replying to me retard

    3. Avatar veth says:

      Volker: Russian-speaking people in Ukraine suffer only in Russian-controlled area United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker says that the only area where Russian-speaking people are suffering in Ukraine is in the area controlled by Russian forces, according to Deutsche Welle.

      Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/war/2106471-volker-russian-speaking-people-in-ukraine-suffer-only-in-russian-controlled-area.html

  2. Avatar zorbatheturk says:

    I think the only journalist who could possibly do justice to the lunatic asylum known as the RuSSia would have been the late, great American king of gonzo, Dr Hunter S. Thompson, but to prepare for the task he would need to drop a few tabs of acid, snort two fat lines of cocaine, drink a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, a couple of six packs of Dos Equis, a pitcher of margaritas, and smoke a pack of Camels. Fear and loathing in Putingrad.

  3. Avatar Ihor Dawydiak says:

    In point No. 1, “By focusing on Chersonesus, Putin has reduced the centrality of the Russian mythology about Kyiv as the mother of Russian cities” can only have two distinct meanings. In the first case, the pompous pederast has been trying to over emphasize the minimal role that involved Crimea as a site where Christianity was allegedly introduced to the Principality of Kyivan (Kievan) Rus (ie. the alleged location of the baptism of the Grand Prince Volodymyr [Vladimir] the Great). In the second case, by trying to downplay the role of Kyiv which was the capital city of the Principality, this would suggest that Russia’s Orthodox Ayatollah has finally come to the conclusion that Russia has lost Ukraine forever. As for Crimea, its return to Ukraine should be considered as inevitable.

    1. Avatar Dagwood Bumstead says:

      I wonder why the demented dwarf is focusing on Volodomir so much since he was a prince of Kyiv, NOT of Moscow- Moscow didn’t even exist at the time Volodomir was baptised. Furthermore, Princess Olga was the first Christian ruler of Kyiv Rus as she converted long before Volodomir did.

      1. Avatar Ihor Dawydiak says:

        For the purpose of clarification, almost all Russian rulers have been less preoccupied with historical truths as these truths did not necessarily fit in with their political agendas. With this being the case, they have resorted to fabrications (smoke and mirrors) and half truths or distortions (white lies) to achieve what they considered to be the maximum distraction in order to artificially change actual historical events, especially where it could pertain to Russian history. Therefore, by trying to directly associate Grand Prince Volodymyr (Vladimir) with Crimea (which many if not most Russians consider as historical Russian territory), Putin has been implying (or at least in part) that the foundation of Kyivan (Kievan) Rus as well as Russian Orthodoxy was based in Crimea and as such was founded on Russian territory. This should of course be considered as absolutely absurd but that does not concern the Kremlin. All that concerns the Kremlin and its leaders is to persuade their general public (and to some extent, the international community) and through constant propaganda, their “Big Lie” with the end purpose of making “Russia great again”.

  4. Avatar Eolone says:

    From two weeks ago: “corruption continues at enormously high levels and has cost Russia more than two billion US dollars over the last two years”

    The question, who would notice or feel the effect of one $1billion a year?
    Today (6): “The wealthiest have one trillion US dollars stashed abroad, about 75 percent of the country’s total wealth”

    This is significant, if it’s correct. But it’s hard to believe. All the homes and other buildings, personal property, etc., amounting to just 25% of the total wealth of Russia? By “wealth” the author must mean money or funds. Heard that the oligarchs are hiding their money abroad because someone else will come along and steal it if left in Russia. This along with the $1T fall in GPD from 2013 is what must be hurting the country most, financially.

  5. Avatar veth says:

    Volker believes Russia was hoping that it would be able “to keep Ukraine in its orbit as part of the Russian sphere of influence, the greater Russian identity,” according to Deutsche Welle. “The reality is that their invasion and occupation has created a more nationalist and a more unified and more pro-Western Ukraine. So it hasn’t really done much for Russian interests. In fact, it’s probably hurt them,” said the U.S. envoy. Read also Volker: Russian-speaking people in Ukraine suffer only in Russian-controlled area He says it is clearly “possible this could be dug in by Russia or it could become another frozen conflict.” “I don’t think anybody wants that. I think we should be working to come up with a way to actually resolve it, to see Ukraine get its territory back and to see that the safety and security of all Ukrainian citizens is preserved,” Kurt Volker said.

    Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/2106516-russian-invasion-created-more-nationalist-unified-and-pro-western-ukraine-volker.html

  6. Avatar veth says:

    Investment in Ukraine’s fixed assets has reached $6 billion, up 23 percent compared to a year ago, while foreign money inflow has dwindled, according to the latest Ukrainian government report.

    So far in 2017, investment has swelled in defense by 78 percent, agriculture by 41 percent, transport infrastructure by 35 percent, IT and telecom by 25 percent, industry by 24 percent and construction by 17 percent – all compared to the same period last year, Ukraine’s State Statistics Service reported on Aug. 29.

    From an very low base, but well done. Much more reforms needed.

    1. Avatar Eolone says:

      Unfortunately, Ukraine has a negative trade balance (expected to carry on for years), high unemployment (10%), high interest rate (12%), high inflation (expected to decrease). But some good news, as you mention.

  7. Avatar veth says:

    Good news from PGO
    Prosecutor General’s Office reports that its daily catch stands at 3 to 7 of corrupt officials. In 2017, PGO sent 1,800 criminal cases to courts, or ten times more than in 2016.

    Meeting with Ukrainian bloggers, PGO top officials said the agency had successfully completed the confiscation of $1.5 billion of ex-Pres Yanukovych’s assets, the largest amount in history.

    Forays on farmers’ crops, a typical crime before, have been stopped this year.

    Currently, PGO is pushing to increase bail to ten times the bribe amount and legalize the bribe provocation.

    Читайте більше тут: http://zik.ua/en/news/2017/08/30/good_news_from_pgo_1158261

  8. Avatar veth says:

    Chechnya draws up list of singers who may be homosexual
    Tuesday, August 29, 2017 8:00:55 PM

    Kavkaz.Realii reports, citing employees of human rights organizations working in the Chechnya, that Chechen security forces have drawn up a list of cultural figures that may be homosexual.

    “Two or three dozen names of cultural figures, mainly singers, are on this list. They became known from people who were kept in secret prisons for gays,” said a worker at one of the local NGOs.

    According to an employee of another non-governmental organization, at least three gay detainees were asked about the artists on the list.

    “These people, whom we assisted in leaving the republic, said that the lists contain the names of famous singers. We know that some of them left Chechnya fearing for their lives,” he added.

    A source from another organization also referred to reports from two people held in a secret gay prison in Argun.

    Earlier it was reported that 25-year-old singer Zelimkhan Bakaev disappeared in August during a stay in Grozny (Chechnya, Russia).

    On May 26, the human rights organization Human Rights Watch published a report on the persecution of gays in Chechnya. Human rights activists cited three people in their reporting who had been detained on suspicion of homosexuality, who claimed that Magomed Daudov oversaw abuse of homosexuals in secret prisons, accompanied with “his own offensive remarks.” The organization also stated that it considers Daudov to be one of the organizers “cleansing” the republic of gays.

  9. Avatar veth says:

    Kremlin’s representative: Russians not happy with delays while trying to obtain visas in American Embassy

    1. Avatar Dagwood Bumstead says:

      Now why in the world would Dwarfstanians want to visit the US in the first place??? And why are they moaning about delays in getting a visa, since their own demented dwarf Duce-ski Vladimir the not-so-Great is responsible for causing them?

      1. Avatar zorbatheturk says:

        All very good questions. But the most pertinent question is why should the US issue any visas to the Russkies at all, since they are most undesirable visitors.