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Khodorkovsky 2, Putin 0

Filed under: Russia

Extremely interesting developments are unfolding on the legal front in Europe. Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his besieged team of executives from Yukos are finally starting to score major victories in the European courts, pushing back the front lines on the battle for Russia's soul, handing Vladimir Putin's stormtroopers two major defeats in preliminary skirmishes. The big battles are yet to be fought (because, ironically, Russia's only real defense has been to flood European courts with cases, especially the European Court for Human Rights, meaning justice for Mr. Khodorkovsky takes a while as he must stand in a long line to reach a judge), but the signs are very promising and present what must be a terrifying prospect to Putin's dictatorship: total international illegitimacy. I explore the events in my most recent installment on Pajamas Media. Check it out! Voice your support for Khodorkovsky here.

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armchair pessimist says:

and how many oil wells has the European Court for Human RIghts?

La Russophobe says:

The USSR had plenty of oil wells, too, my dear, and far more weapons of every kind than Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn. And where, pray tell, is the USSR today?

Russian says:

It is simple. Khodorkopvskiy, a talented man, one of the former Russian oligarhs, made his fortune out of the air. He was not like Bill Gates to develop DOS or WINDOWS and get it installed in 95% of the all world's computers. To get rich in the atmosphere of post-Soviet privatization (called predatory privatization)he had to break the Law using schems and tax evasion and not just one time. Of course, he is not the only oligarh who did it. Abramovich, Berezovskiy, Prokhorov, Deropaska a few other richest people of today Russia-they all broke the laws. They acknowledged it themself. That was such a time, they say.
Why Prokhorov is having a good time flying with an excort of the prettiest girls to the Switzerland ski resorts, and Khodorkovskiy is where he is?
In Yeltsyn time all the Russian oligarhs were very influential. Berezovskiy was Eltsyn's "right hand", his closeest adviser, the best friend of Yeltsyn's influential daughter and a corrupt deputy Tatyana Dyachenko (Yumasheva now).
In 1996 before being elected for the second term Yeltsyn had approval rating of just 5%.
That was the oligarchs who saved him. They had a meeting about what to do. They decided to keep Yeltsyn in power for more time. They invested billions in his election campaign, they brought the best imagemakers from the USA, they hired talented "TV killers" like Sergey Dorenko to destroy the other candidates. And Yeltsyn won!
Was that a feast of democracy?
Sure it was not.
When Putin came,(and he is a democrat in his soul)he put an end to the rule of oligarchs. He kicked the asses of those who tried to mess up in the political life using their money or other means, like Berezovskiy, Gusinskiy, Khodorcovskiy...

He taught them a lesson:

1. Money and power together is too much for one person, and not good for the state, so choose either, or.

2. If you made your money by not quite a legal way, always remember that.

The oligarchs are smart people. They learn fast. Now Russia has good billionaires. They are not oligarchs any longer. They are successfull businessmen, who pay taxes and do charities.

So, Khodorkovskiy's demonstrative, public whipping, though was a selective punishment, still was a good thing for the Russian political life and economy.

Well, they speak about letting him out now.
That would be good. Enough is enough.

European court may decide on some procedural blemishes of the Yukos case, which a good legal team may always find in such a trial, but the court will not be able to acquit M. Khodorkovskiy or dismiss his case.

So, wishfull thinking, Kim. Wishful thinking.

As about the USSR... The USSR was a form of the Russian civilization. What happened was a change of the form. A change of the political and economic shape that did not work. Russian civilization is more than 1000 years old. It was shrinking and expanding, but was on tracks again. Russians survived Mongols, Napoleon, zars rule, revolutions, Civil war, Hitler, communism. Can you compare all those to the today's Russia problems?
So, Russia is on her way to a better life and to a stronger state. She will survive $3 per hour wages and the under 50 years man's life expectancy. She will certainly survive Kim's Ziegfild cawing.

A joke of the day:
Q: What will be another blog after the Pajamas Media the prolific graphomaniac writer Kim ziegfild will be a contributor for?
A: Panty XL Media

La Russophobe says:


What your vulgar, pathetic excuse for a "mind" fails to understand is that (a) your so-called "defense" of the Kremlin only helps to further convince civilized people that Mr. Khodorkovsky is right (its length alone proves how worried you are, dimwit) and (b) what an ape-like Russian centuries behind the world in evolution is incapable of grasping is that what you call "procedural blemishes" are viewed by the civilized world as essential components of political legitimacy. Remove that, and Vladimir Putin's days are numbered.

And what will the blog YOU write on be called, little boy? Why, it will be called "nothing."

armchair pessimist says:

But ma chere LaR, you are like a cracked record that the USSR is very much alive in the Russia of V. Putin. Does that answer your question?

Also. I think you're being a little complacent about the influence of "the civilized world". It's shrinking. The tide's running the other way. We're going to need friends who, alas, may not be quite eligible for our so very refined democratical club. You will pounce on the word "friend"--Russia is incapable of being a friend, I hear you typing.

Maybe yes, maybe no. But self-interest, the common realization that Russia and the West need one another, can make for a perfectly acceptable approximation of friendship.

But I will admit that so far the stupidity shown by both Moscow and Washington on this point is pretty damn discouraging.

Russian, I hope you keep writing. Please don't go away on account of our hostess' uncustomary display of poor manners.

pedro martinez says:

In my opinion, Russian's long post is far, far more convincing than long posts by Artflgr, which don't even make sense many times and just seem like ramblings about the "dangers" of a strong Russia, socialism, etc.

La Russophobe says:


I'm going to assume you didn't notice RUSSIAN say " Panty XL Media." It's a disgusting personal slander and deserved far worse than it received, typical of this nasty, loathsome little cockroach who is undoubtedly a paid supplicant of Vladimir Putin. Therefore, I'm going to give you the opportunity to apologize for your comment about my attitude towards him. If you don't, I'll disengage from you and cease responding to your comments, which in that event I'll consider unworthy of further consideration. Future such "comments" from RUSSIAN will be deleted from the blog.

Meanwhile, you're not listening carefully enough to my tune, dearest. The fact that the people of Russia have a neo-Soviet attitude and wish to rebuild what was destroyed doesn't mean the destruction did not happen.

I've never said Russia couldn't be a friend. It could be, in the same way that Japan and Germany are now. But what you overlook is the necessary catalyst to that friendship, namely the events of World War II.

Wouldn't you agree, honey, that your responses are at least as predictable as mine? You're willing to gamble on "maybe yes" and open us to being stabbed in the back by an enemy. I'm willing to gamble on "maybe no" and open us to failing to collect a possible friend. The only thing is, there isn't one single shred of historical fact that supports your gamble, just your personal "feelings." Chamberlain had similar feelings, you know.


Ummm . . . so you agree with your ideological twins and disagree with your ideological opposites, is that your point?

Marc J says:

Somewhat off topic, but you might note an interesting article in WaPo on Russia and the Internet:

armchair pessimist says:


No, I didn't see that. I guess that's how you two bill&coo, and I'll butt out with apologies.

To break out of our conversation of cracked records somewhat, you seem to believe that we Democracies can summon the power of angels and archangels to smite down wicked governments and nations. Wish we could, but we can't. We're big and powerful, but quite fragile in places. Our oil addiction and the Chinese grip on our financial system, to name two.

Islam+China+Russia+a slew of little shithole regimes are lining up against us, and we can't take them all on. We've got to break up this alignment, and for reasons I've stated too many times already, it would be good for us and good for Russia to start cooperating NOW.

As for our German "friends", let me leave you with a deliciously cynical comment by my Great Uncle Bill, the last of the Greatest Generation in our family. He had met the Germans professionally while in Patton's Army and when I asked him how come the Germans were such wusses nowadays he replied, "Because we killed off all the brave ones."

La Russophobe says:

MARC J: Thanks very much for the great link!

ARMCHAIR: Knew you were a gentleman! Actually, if you examine this string, you'll see he started it. What's actually the case is that this is the way Putin-sponsored thugs try to handle criticism online, very typical and I am a very common target.

Artfldgr says:

Islam+China+Russia+a slew of little shithole regimes are lining up against us, and we can't take them all on. We've got to break up this alignment, and for reasons I've stated too many times already, it would be good for us and good for Russia to start cooperating NOW.

Exactly… What the people who like to call the west imperialists don’t get is that the weaknesses that you refer to in the previous paragraph also consist of the fact that free market capitalist systems are ABYSMAL at taking and maintaining control and high productivity. The reason for that is the same reason that socialism is abysmal too.

That in a open laissez faire society, there is a lot of independend cross communication, and this robust system is called a “scale free network”. Basically the internet is a scale free network. When a capitalist system or anyone takes over someone else, and that someone else is governed for their own good (ie, they have limited means to address the state, and limited means to cross communicate), this efficient network of communication breaks down.

The fragility in a free country though is planned… they give up the power of the rulerships centralization, to gain the power of the scale free network and independently thinking agents that can act on their own (with the added benefit that the blame for problems rests with the causes, not with the mediators).

The totalitarians and athoritarians and those that side with them, try to project themselves to understand the other. and one of the reasons that I am hard to understand is that I switch modes of thought to explain things. the authoritarians, believe that the west is imperialistic (but sneaky), because if it had the power we had, it would have run roughshod over everyone already, made a world totalitarian state to fulfill the ideological objectives, and SUPPOSEDLY these despots will then give up power and dissolve the state (and all its controls and mechanisms), and let everything just go perfectly from their (but they hasve to stagnate the world before that works! and convince everyone that everything worth inventing has been invented already)

When a state starts to add socialism, it starts to centralize… what happens is that it has to control the flow of all this information and examine every little bit. And so the scale free network starts to get shut down… this way information only goes through the few approved places. Its why socialist states are afraid of the internet, talking, guns, etc..

However, the amont of money to be made from weapons for a free state is miniscule!!! We pay for the weapons not out of the money we make from them, but from extra monies. Where in the east, they pay for them out of prime money. Americans don’t go hungry because the farms were emptied to get resources to pay for military equipment.

So ultimately military stuff is a drag on free market countries… the line from the left is sooo stupid and yet they refuse to look at it themselves. do they not remember their childhood? When the bully picked on you, did walking away from them work?

When someone is plotting your demise or ruin, lets say at work, to get you fired. Is the BEST action to ignore it and do nothing about it?

This is the point as to the war.

The other point that they don’t get is that a fight isn’t necessarily about what people seem to be fighting about. All anyone needs for this is a girlfriend. Ever get into a fight with a girlfriend over some stupid crap, only to find out that the fight was in the abstract, and was really about something else?

This is the point as to our war too.

And the point to tie this to your comment is that if the US does not play the games that its being bashed for, the result is that that list will grow (And I would say that its backwards since the flow of soviet influence went from Russia, to China, to Islam (though the nazi’s primed the Islamic pump, the Russians took it into high gear))

Any idiot can look in a high school and figure out that the student who tries to go through life there ends up on the worst losing end. They are loners, and even if everyone is not against them, unlike others, there are very little for them.

So the result of bowing out is to let the soviets exert control using things that are nastier than the west has EVER used (and in greater numbers). The FOTs (friends of totalitarianism) never seem to notice that the US doesn’t have the organs and stuff the other side did, and the reasons that the west can be made fun of, is that its people are not as dark. They are not anywhere near as capable since the training methods are not available to them. (the list of ‘actions’ taken is long, creative, bold, and has never stopped).

So as long as the soviets are willing to ship weapons to places because those places don’t have nuclear weapons and are still in flux, is a very different reason than the west doing something similar. The united states economy is not at ALL dependent on military money. Does the leftists realize this? as I mentioned, the military stuff is paid for by taxes, and does not represent wealth creation, but destruction as that wealth is taken and used for things less productive. A better way to look at it is… imagine the American business economy if the Americans did not have to take taxes and make weapons!

However, the neo-soviets and such states make a fortune from their weapons sales. How can this be so? easy, the people in their countries work for very little, and the weapons are not paid for… so the profit made from the weapons does not go to the factory and the people that made them, it goes to the siloviki. In this way, the siloviki have realized the comnmunst state as Ford, Carnegie, and such saw it (as a fascist system in which the workers do the work, and the leaders, like ford, make all the money and control everything. In fact it was ford that said “I want to own nothing and control everything”, which is what you have in the siloviki system).

The thing is that most people don’t realize that prior to wwi and wwii, the US had a very small military… in fact most of the world did.. they didn’t have to build up like that except that they HAD to respond to the deal between two socialist states.

After that, one of the two deal makers was still left standing. If two guys came in and tried to kill your families… succeeding in killing some members… and one was killed, and the other still free… how would you behave? Would you stop making weapons? Would you let them have free reign? Would you accept an apology and let them into your home?

Whats MOST interesting is that RUSSIAN, and PEDRO, and their ILK don’t realize that the only reason that they can have the conversations that they have is because of the west and its freedom, and its productivity.

They don’t realize that from the VERY beginning the communist socialist system has as a KEY part of its ideology the destruction of capitalism. The reason the cold war happened was because the cold war is a straight jacket for the nutty countries!!! The west has no ability to actually wage real war and do the job that other states would do! and so the best they can do is tie up the worst offenders.

In THIS past months scientific American is a break down of US, and Soviet nuclear missiles. The US has less than 10k of them… the USSR has more than 15,000… and that’s a low guess given that they reneged on EVERY deal to remove them (while the US kept deals that weren’t even ratified!)

Their view is ridiculous… for instance.. how many states is the US helping to build nuclear weapons? None… the US does not put cannons in the hands of children.

How many states is RUSSIA and CHINA and INDIA helping? Korea, Iran, Syria, and a bunch more.

why do those states or russia need them? the situation in which they claim the need has existed for decades, and with things getting less easy to act on… to pick an arbitrary date… 1970.. from then on… the US could have used nuclear weapons to get what they wanted… korea… needs weapons for what reason? No one is attacking them even though they have been “down so long that it looks like up to them”. and no one wants to attack them… they have screwed up their state so much that there is no reason to help them.

why does Syria need the weapons? To go against isreal? But isreal has had nuclear weapons since when? Has it stopped the others from attacking? Have they ever used any? Again… no reason to… the nuclear weapons are never used in threats.. and isreal has given some of their land away… (and leftists don’t start with its not their land. We can go back and point out that russia was not lenins land, and cuba was not castro or ch’s, and so on.. remember? Revolution, it was taken from the owners by force?)

Iran only wants nuclear weapons for one reason…. To insure that its state will not switch from soviet islam to a free state… what other reason? I think all of us are pretty sure that they would not hit isreal… so whats the tactical advantage? Why want it? or why be convinced that you want it?

Tactically speaking its needed for the tactics of the larger entity (russia). If russia and US, and other higher up states take care of their nukes, which they do. then how can you fun false flag operations? You see, you cant use a nuclear weapon tactically, unless you have others that can take the blame. RUSSIA has ALWAYS used others to take the blame, or blamed others outright… (Stalin took advantage of Hitler, without that pact it would have been doubtful that Hitler would have proceeded as far as he did. in fact without that pact, he probably would have been less bold, taken more breaks from actin, and would be something we would still be dealing with as the west didn’t want to fight).

As kennen wrote in 1947, when the ideas that formed the cold war came about. The concept was to contain them. To put them in a straight jacket till they reached their senses. In other words it was an experimental option never tried before in history to allow a state to develop rather than consider that the only way to change it was to go in and de-sovietize it. this is the part or nuance that is not appreciated. Prior to the doctrine of the cold war, the only two outcomes were to let your enemy build up and do what germany did several times… or contain them… and wait till they stop swinging at everyone on the planet and stop screwing with everyone. (and until they do, you have to go where they go, do what they do, etc… or else they are not contained).

For the west, the fall of the soviets (rather than the restructuring the east knows), was a sign to them that the system reached bottom. that like a drug addict, it may improve now since it hit its worst. It’s the difference between the sane and the still insane. When the crap collapsed, they took the straightjacket off… the borders opened, etc..

The truth is that the cold war served more to protect russia from itself than it served to protect the west. The west is open and so is hard to protect. Its actually protected by being so produictive that its tougher…. So rather than prevent things, it absorbs them. for 40 years it has basically kept absorbing the things that the world has been doing, and taking the punches rather than bully (just war doctrines).

Russia is again acting like the crazed. China is militarily backwards when the whole offshoring stuff started… in many ways it still is (and isn’t). Both were enemies of the west, but the west did not declare them enemies to be crushed. If so, then they would have moved in when it collapsed..

The very fact that when the country they were containing fell down and collapsed in on itself, they tried to help them back up… kind of like slapping someone to their senses and helping them up and going from their.

But true to their paranoid ideology, which makes a necessity of destroying all the other economic systems, the minute that they are standing, and have their balance coming back and are a bit steady…

They come out swinging again… how many times will they have to be wacked till they give up and stop doing this? either till they stop, or the US falls.

When the US falls, the other side wins permanently…

So its an interesting concept that the game will continue for as long as there is a free capatlist state… and each will fall in turn once the top one falls… then when there are no more, we will have world war X… because there will not be a free state, that doesn’t want war (since as you can see, its people cant stick with anything like that), just states led by despots that have all the technology and each wanting THEIR form of totalitarianism.. without any limits to using nuclear weapons, since it’s the limits of the west that stops them, NOT the limits of the east (without the west who would buy their weapons and natural resources… and who would buy finished products?)

Sorry you cant understand my posts pedro…
But siding with Russians stuff isn’t too bright… he doesn’t make good arguments, nor are they based in reality… though I guess that your limit is your limit of understanding, and two idiots talking together are liked and understood more to each other than they could understand others who arent idiots.

Artfldgr says:

It is simple. Khodorkopvskiy, a talented man, one of the former Russian oligarhs, made his fortune out of the air. He was not like Bill Gates to develop DOS or WINDOWS and get it installed in 95% of the all world's computers.
So ‘talent’ is who can steal and return no value to those they steal from?
And ‘talent’ is not reserved for someone that creates something of value for others to use, and so is rewarded for making them happy?
I guess in that you can quickly show why Russians are doing so poorly. They want to make misery while succeeding. Like the old Russian saying. As to shadenfreude being happiness… (that ones happiness has to come at anothers misery, which is why they make misery for all, it makes the leaders the most happy people).
To get rich in the atmosphere of post-Soviet privatization (called predatory privatization) he had to break the Law using schemes and tax evasion and not just one time.
So your making the case that capitalism breeds superior people, while the heroes of the other system, even when its capitalist are those that cheat and steal, and break the rules. Lovely.
Maybe this is why socialism has murdered over 100 million, and caused the deaths of more than Ľ billion people in wars and such.
Of course, he is not the only oligarh who did it. Abramovich, Berezovskiy, Prokhorov, Deropaska a few other richest people of today Russia-they all broke the laws. They acknowledged it themself. That was such a time, they say.
Ah.. have you realized that if they didn’t do that, then the companies would have been better distributed among people who were NOT that nasty and bad? that this is not free market, as the state had to use its force to kill and such to collect those businesses into one unit so that stealing could be done by one nasty person with aid from KGB/GRU.
Basically, these men stole the future of the Russian people for themselves and the nastiest people in the state in fascist collusion, and their your heroes? No wonder you like stalin… you like POWER, and the reason you don’t like the west… is because they are nice and that niceness (much nicer than russia), has led them to lots of success…
Its like watching some sci fi fairy tail.. where the troll with borderline personality, forever does nasty tings and lies and so no one of good ability and so forth will deal with them before dealing with others who are less that way… and so they sit and plot and such against the decent who succeed being decent and not having to do that… the story spans grims, to Shakespeare….

Except in fairy tales beings change their natures and the eveil monster wakes up or changes and such. the leaders of the Russian system though refuse to change. they SAY so. so for them they continue to act like beasts and like wormtongue, or loki, etc… and so never can get to what they want… so they feel that the destruction of the other is the only way… meanwhile history shows the game is open to ALL!!! even if t6hey don’t cooperate!!! (is russia cooperating? Did it get help? did iran change? didn’t they also get help? )

When Putin came,(and he is a democrat in his soul)he put an end to the rule of oligarchs.
A democrat, by definition, is either a member of the democratic party of the US, or is a person that promotes Democracy.
Democracy is defined as:
government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
since he came to office, the system is LESS democratic. The press has been cowed to literal death. Privatization went to selected people, rather than open. The state government just shut down the people watching them work and such.
where is the government by the people? Do you think the people would be actually voting for despots if there were others allowed to run? And don’t say there are… the minute you have hundreds of assassinations, and scores more beatings, and people being put in mental institutions, you don’t have ‘others’.

He kicked the asses of those who tried to mess up in the political life using their money or other means, like Berezovskiy, Gusinskiy, Khodorcovskiy...
Which is technically an act that is anti-democratic!!! The wealthy are just as equal as anyone else… and so they have just as much right to influence the system. to target them and not everyone is not an act of a democracy, but the same old soviet acts that say, success has to be punished! In this case, you succeed you lose your voice in state. nice democracy.
He taught them a lesson:
1. Money and power together is too much for one person, and not good for the state, so choose either, or.
That’s not democracy… that’s communism… thats the same choice stalin gave the kulaks, and there is no doubt that if the state was still closed like before (as it will be soon), these would have ended up the same as the kulaks.
Your contradicting yourself… and in this way, this practice is not what you claim it is. what it is, is a statement that says “if we make you wealthy, then you cant have your own mind”.
The kgb and others handed such wealth to these people thinking they were trusted… but they system breeds sociopaths since they are the big winners.. and so these sociopaths prey on their own… and so they used the system that wanted to use them to use the people, to get free! Those that left ended up cashing out and getting out good.
2. If you made your money by not quite a legal way, always remember that.
Which is my point… they had the collusion of the state, and so this is nothing more than a kangaroo court getting revenge.. its not a rule of law insuring a stable state.

The oligarchs are smart people. They learn fast. Now Russia has good billionaires. They are not oligarchs any longer. They are successfull businessmen, who pay taxes and do charities.
So, Khodorkovskiy's demonstrative, public whipping, though was a selective punishment, still was a good thing for the Russian political life and economy.

You cant get good from bad… it taints the well.. their natures did not change… they just wanted more money and saw that cooperating with KGB would allow it to go on… and if not they weould be dead or in jail (even if they did no wrong!).
Totalitarian fear is not the same as good governance…
Well, they speak about letting him out now.
That would be good. Enough is enough.

You’re a fool.. they will not let him out.. not only is he then someone to be afraid of, but unlike the rest of the population, he hasn’t been stripped of assets and such, and so once out, he will run to antoehr country.. once in another country.. he will seek revenge… which is why there is a rich history of stuff in these situations. He is sociopathic, and so does not see prison as a learning thing, he sees it as a training place, a place to hone for new targets, and learn, and make connections that when out will help.

As about the USSR... The USSR was a form of the Russian civilization. What happened was a change of the form. A change of the political and economic shape that did not work. Russian civilization is more than 1000 years old. It was shrinking and expanding, but was on tracks again. Russians survived Mongols, Napoleon, zars rule, revolutions, Civil war, Hitler, communism. Can you compare all those to the today's Russia problems?

Russian civilization is NOT 1000 years old… its less than 100.. the civilization that you think you have was destroyed on purpose. Only some trapping exist now… like silks hung on the wall for atmosphere.
Where is that culture? its GONE… the Russians didn’t have no fault divorce before lennin. They didn’t have lots of the things… the whole thing was thrown out..
The Russian culture as it was is dead… its clock was restarted in 1917.
The advent of socialist realism destroyed the culture. the meanings the old stories, the tales… the children were disconnected from their past, and so do not evn know it.
your history sucks, and so your belief in the past is false… even the cultural history you think you know is false. Most of those who left were the ones that remembered and carried on
there is more Russian culture in brighton beach and little Odessa than in russia.
What happened to the culture of the Kulaks? I use them a lot since they are an easier example than others. but I can show you lots of others from Lenin to Mao, that destroying the prevailing culture is NECESSARY.
That you cant have socialism till you do that… you don’t rememver the history of lukacks and how his perversions of sexualilty in the schools (designed to destroy culture as it did in the west from the 1960s on), helped cause the collapse within two years.
Art and literature were placed under much tighter control, and the radical energy of the Russian Avant-Garde was replaced by the solemn grandeur of Soviet realism. Religion was violently repressed, as churches were closed, destroyed, or converted to other uses. Stalin purged all opposition to himself within the party as well as all opposition to party policy in the country. By the end of the 1930s, the Soviet Union had become a country in which life was more strictly regulated than ever before. Experimentation had ended, and discipline was the rule of the day.
Your telling me that through that you preserved the old culture? no no no, they destroyed it… after all, the black culture was disconnected in America, and the blacks and Russians right now share that dissociation. A kind of malaise that even in a place were they could do better, they don’t even try!!!!
[the gulag system and the wars did what armchair showed.. not only did the brave ones die in battle like the germans… but if there were any left, other than sociopaths who could play the system and people, they went to the gulags and died. If there were any people that understood good business and such, not sociopathic cheating masquerading as business to those that don’t know the difference, they were all marched off. the sick thing is that part of the problem that russia is having is that those who could think independently, act independently and well (think kulaks), and their familes, were all destroyed… those that were willing to bend, to not have culture, to not protest when something like religion was taken away… they survived, but those suffer nihilism.. a dark malaise where they don’t work hard, just minimally.. they spend most of their time in escapism… or do you think the use of vodka is just a nothing?]
So, Russia is on her way to a better life and to a stronger state. She will survive $3 per hour wages and the under 50 years man's life expectancy. She will certainly survive Kim's Ziegfild cawing.

How? While I will agree she wills urvive kim. As kim doesn’t want to see them destroyed any more than America did!!!! (containment is seeking to not destroy).
I will make the case that your wrong.
Russias demographics suck… nashi will not be able to sput out babies fast enough.. and since they have no culture, they suffer no children.
They cant start a program to have more kids, since that would be old world nazi stuff…

They are demographically trapped by their own actions and moves. That the ills that Lenin started, have not yet abated.
Lenin created no fault divorce and the same stuff that is destroying the west now. but hie did it on sept 16 1918… from then on, you could get a divorce by sending in a post card and saying bye bye.
Couple this with lukacs sexual permissivness… (all to destroy culture since marriage and lineage is how culture is transmitted from one generation to another), and forcing women to leave their homes and families to go to work.
It accomplished the purpose of destroying Russian families, which then destroyed Russian culture. whats left is tatters… (and only a person who was raised in such auster and empty things would think they were full. Even in the west a large part of the culture is gone. Parents, like russia, no longer know how to rear children, now they raise them (there is a difference between the two).
And Now My Soul Is Hardened
Abandoned Children in Soviet Russia, 1918-1930

From the beginning, mobilization of adult males deprived numerous families of their primary breadwinners and compelled mothers to work outside the home. Sons and daughters sought subsistence in any way possible, with little or no supervision. Whatever their choice—begging, peddling, prostitution, or theft—they spent an ever larger portion of their time on the street, drifting out of shattered families that could no longer support them. Those who turned to relatives often discovered these havens to be just as precarious, for if wartime adversity overcame their adoptive guardians, the newcomers’ weak claim on household resources saw them first out the door. By summer’s end in 1917, a Provisional Government ministry noted the presence in Petrograd of “5,000 children without parents and absolutely homeless. According to the estimates of the city there are about 150,000 children who are partly destitute, their fathers being in the army and their mothers at work.”[
What culture does that transmit? In fact, that’s why its so easy to hurt their own, there is no culture against it!!! the historical example for russia is quite the opposite.
From 1918 through 1920 families continued to disintegrate under the assault of combat, flight, hunger, and disease, casting adrift still more children. Every contested province revealed them in abundance. As the fighting approached its last summer in southern Russia, for example, American Red Cross personnel in the vicinity told of “1,000,000 Russian children separated from their parents and needing food and clothing.”[12]
They destroyed the culture… the Bolsheviks, tore through, and destroyed the culture and people in their paths.
soldiers coming from the West ahead of the advancing Bolsheviks soon led to a frightful situation. Hundreds upon hundreds of patients in the height of typhus fever arrived from the West and many of them wandered delirious in and out among the other trains and among the refugee families, spreading the disease. Lacking water, lacking food, lacking fuel, lacking every facility for decent living, the railway yards at Kolumzino became a [sic] inferno of suffering
Poltava was the centre of a district selected by the Bolsheviki where the children from the northern cities were to be sent, consequently, with their [the Bolsheviks’] forced evacuation, some 8000 children were left to be taken care of by the new [White] government.
For nearly two years, chilling accounts surfaced from the famine region, describing a population driven to ever more wretched extremes by hunger. Investigators found village after village where people had abandoned hope in exchange for numbing apathy. They lay in their huts with changeless, blank expressions—after having dug their own graves on occasion—and waited quietly to die
As food supplies disappeared from the Volga provinces, ravenous inhabitants turned for sustenance to leaves, bark, acorns, roots, weeds, grass, chaff, straw, and sunflower stalks. Peasants hunted dogs, cats, mice, rats, and crows until none remained in their villages. A delegation from Samara reported that “people deranged from hunger are wandering about like packs of wolves, tearing apart the burrows of rodents, digging up the carcasses of diseased cattle, and grinding their half-decayed bones into flour.” Others vainly sought nourishment in carrion, manure, leather, and clay.[30] Numerous dispatches told of suicides and of parents resolved to end the anguish of their emaciated offspring by suffocating the children or throwing them into wells and rivers
Even this did not mark the limit of ghastliness inflicted by the famine. When references to cannibalism first reached Moscow and Petrograd, they seemed wild exaggerations, inconceivable in twentieth-century Europe. But with each passing month, cases multiplied, reaching into the thousands by 1922. In the town of Nikopol’, two American relief workers sought confirmation from local officials: “Comrade Titov, the ruler of the town, verified these reports and even showed us official photographs of two children picking the meat from the head of their dead mother; and another where the members of the family, father, mother and several children, were satisfying their insane appetite on the cooked remains of one of the members of the family.”[32] The practice occurred frequently enough in some districts that local inhabitants ceased to regard it as remarkable. Here and there people plundered graves and morgues in search of corpses, and human flesh even appeared for sale.[33]
The famine’s wrath added legions of abandoned juveniles to the millions already at large. Clad in filthy, lice-infested rags and staggering from exhaustion and hunger, they began to appear on the streets of Moscow by late summer of 1921. From Kazan’ came word that every ship and train arriving in the city brought waifs from the surrounding area. With the onset of cold weather and the ever-worsening supply of food in their home districts, they flooded numerous cities, both in and out of the famine region. Reports described “whole armies of children—grimy, starving vagrants”—who jammed train stations, docks, and bazaars.[34] Armand Hammer, traveling on business in 1921, was shocked by the spectacle surrounding his train at the station in Ekaterinburg:
Children with their limbs shrivelled to the size of sticks and their bellies horribly bloated by eating grass and herbs, which they were unable to digest, clustered ’round our windows begging piteously for bread—for life itself—in a dreadful ceaseless whine. We could not help them. Here and there it was possible to give one youngster a meal, but if we had distributed every scrap of food on our train, it would have been as nothing to feed this multitude.[35]

However it wsnt bad enough to get armand hammer to no longer be a soviet spy and such… he came back to create the same thing here in the US.
And that was the first three years of lenins changes… it destroyed families… left MILLIONS dead and homless… millions of children, who would never learn their cultures!!!
And you can say that it will survive… it’s the fact that its gone that the state is still dead. (lets see… germany turned to rubble… now one of the most productive countries on the planet… russia, was not reduced to rubble, got germanies and lots of others technology, stole even more of it… and yet, they are still dead comparatively… check out a night time image of north and south korea… and north got free money!!!)
The famine severed children from parents in a variety of ways. Juveniles typically received priority over adults where relief supplies existed, and in such cases—as in families where parents ate less in order to continue feeding their offspring—children could elude death more successfully than did their elders.[
whats interesting is that I know this history… but ask someone from the soviet union, and they don’t. this was all erased…
however you can see above, that the Darwin view I pointed out as being simple is a lot more complex. In this case, children willing to starve their parents did better than those that didn’t. ergo, the kind of person who would kill their own mother is over represented. (you can also see that such situations create a pool of people so hardened that the spy corps had their pick of anyone that could do anything)

its something that is hard to imagine today… we don’t even see such things in our worst nightmare films!!!
that’s how bad it is… so bad that we cant make money showing it.

however just as the gulags changed the population, these situations did as well.. the ones that survived were the ones who had genes which could do horrible things rather than die. So parents ate their children, children ate their parents, parents abandoned their children to providence, on and on it went…
but those who survived, were to make up the population later.
And want to know what historically happened? Well in the west we know what happened.. we have lots of reports… and articles, photos, and all of that stalin could not erase.
a sharp drop inspired the view that remaining waifs were merely a fading inheritance from the old “capitalist” order and the calamities of 1914–1922—a comforting suggestion that time would soon eliminate the problem altogether. But the assumption withered under scrutiny in studies at a variety of children’s institutions, where investigations revealed that many residents—sometimes 50 percent or more—had first landed on the street in the years after the famine

The holidays are gone.. all replaced by soviet ones.. may day, etc.
The Dream We Lost: Soviet Russia, Then and Now
by Freda Utley

its got lots in it.. but nothing is perfect. ‘
here is a sample.. off topic, but on topic in that even modern Russians don’t understand their own leaders (because that’s never beein something important enough for people who hae no say to actually know. )
THE FAILURE of the West, at least until 1939, to see the similarity be¬
tween the economic and political organization of the Nazi and Soviet
states was largely due to the erroneous idea that ownership, is more im¬
portant than control. Actually it is the other way round, whether we
are considering a capitalist corporation "owned" by many shareholders
but controlled by few, or a modern totalitarian state. It makes no
practical difference to those who monopolize the political power in
Russia and Germany whether in theory the factories and mines, rail¬
ways, power stations, and banks are owned by capitalists or by the
whole people. The vital point is that the government--i.e., the Nazi or
Bolshevik party headed by its leader--has the force to compel the
use of the productive capital as it directs and to appropriate as large
a share of the profits as it thinks fit. The fact that in Russia those who
direct the business enterprises are officials paid a salary by the state,
whereas in Germany they are still called the owners or corporation
directors and live on their profits or private salaries, makes no practical
difference except in the matter of efficiency.
In modern large-scale industry it is usually the head employees of
a corporation, those whom Americans call executives, who run the
show. The stockholders who "own" the capital and "employ" the
executives are often powerless. In Russia the Communist party ap¬
points the executives, while the "ownership" is vested in the state. This
communal ownership is meaningless, so long as the people have no
means of controlling the government. In Germany ownership of land
and productive capital remains in the hands of the "capitalist class,"
but absolute control is vested in the state. The German capitalists are
almost as powerless as the Russian people, since in both countries
political power is monopolized by the ruling party. (Since in Germany
money power still exists, although subordinated to the political power,
there is a little more freedom and independence for certain elements
in the population than in Russia.) In both countries the state is in fact
owned by the ruling party, which administers it free from popular
control of any kind either in the economic sphere or in the political,
and utilizes the resources and man power of the country for its own

That paragraph explains how it still is… so much for your explanations of these great men…
All it is, is a slightly restructured system… in which like the cargo cult cultures, they still try to form the trappings, and think that that’s what gets the results.
So like cargo cultures who build runways and towers and things out of cocanuts and bamboo… wating for the planes.
The Russian leaders, who only know power, attempted to make the structure seem lke the west, as if the structure unlocks the wealth. But it doesn’t…
They destroyed everything that they thought could interfere with their control, and by doing that, removed all their ability to influence the people in a positive way, and have them motivated.
With no culture, there was nothing to work for… with men kicked out of families in divorce, there was nothing to work for… they didn’t have to provide for many and work so hard… they could abandon their own and work less.. in fact that was safer…

Russia, and others have a long lessons in history to learn… its why Kim and you don’t see the same… because she has lots more information than you do… lots more honest information… as the west does not have the control over its things the way the soviets do (and so to assume that its relative is not valid. In the west we are free to meet unhindered, and there is money to be made exposing salacious truth.. which is why critical theory has it easier in free states to destroy)
I suggest reading at least those two books… and I would also suggest staying away from revisionists (Stalinists), and apologists (socialists trying to bury the past as a fluke).

Artfldgr says:

THIS BOOK is in part a record of my personal experiences in the
U.S.S.R. during the five and a half years I lived there, and in part
an account of the new system of exploitation developed in Russia by
the Communist dictatorship. This new system is one which not only
orthodox Communists, but a whole host of socialists, liberals, and so-
called progressives of various kinds, call "socialism," and regard from
afar as a beacon light of hope for a crisis-ridden and war-torn world.
Perhaps this new system is socialism, but anyone who knows what life
is like in Russia must recognize that this new society has nothing in
common with the society of the free and equal which socialists believed
would follow the breakdown of the capitalist system. I hope that those
socialists and Communist fellow travelers who still reason, and whose
humanitarian impulses have not been entirely destroyed by "religious"
zeal and scholastic dogma, will have the patience to examine the facts
here presented, and to listen to the experiences of one who once also
believed that the Communists would emancipate mankind.

Not only do Stalin and his henchmen wield a power more absolute
than any despot of past ages, but it is obvious from an examination
of official Soviet figures of wages and production under the Five Year
Plans that the Russian people are worse fed, housed, and clothed than
before the Revolution. There is grave doubt as to the accuracy of the
Soviet Government's statistics, but if the true state of Russia's national
economy is even worse than I have depicted it in Chapters VI, VII,
and VIII of this book, the picture revealed by a careful analysis of the
official data is dark enough to disillusion all those who do not refuse
to see. It should also now be clear to the plan-mad liberals of the
Western world that Russia's reputedly planned economy is a myth, and
that production and distribution are in a far more chaotic state in the
U.S.S.R. than under the capitalist system in its periods of worst crisis.

I shall, perhaps, be accused of being prejudiced by my personal ex­
periences. So also, no doubt, have the victims of all tyrannies been
prejudiced, whether they were slaves in the ancient world, or heretics
persecuted by the Inquisition, or victims in Nazi concentration camps.


and its never been different...

however, the useful idiots keep saying its getting better...

since the socialists got control... the state and its people have suffered greatly...

(and in the free states, no one knows how far they could have ran in this time without the millstone aroudn their necks).

i will point out that its these experiences that keep those who want socialism from moving away from the country that doesnt have it, and to a country that does.

this is one of the many people that did that.. and there are literally a hundred or more books from her to famous anarchists and others... all ignored...

yet they are the most truthful... because they are the ones that had even more hopes than others... hopes so high, they left home to help...

and then found the truth... so they know more and saw more, and dont color it.

as my family did for me... and growing up with so many with the same stories of misery... after all, the russians are STILL mierable.. but russian still thinks any day now, just another year, one more month, and it will all get better.

just to let you know russian, and pedro... the russian people have been waiting more than 100 years for socialism to deliver. from the millions of starved from 1917 and millions of children homeles, and destruction of culture...

again, read
The Dream We Lost: Soviet Russia Then and Now
thats where the quote above came from..

[hint if you search you can find a copy in pdf form]

to read this and say... that was past, is to deny history... to deny your own past if your russian...

whats not past is the same false illusion..

read that paragraph above again... notice how she points out that whatever you hasve in mind, thats not what socialism is in practice or the real world.

if its a free state... socialism makes fascism.. if its fascist... socialims makes totalitarianism, and brings back the ruling class of the old tsars, but wihout the arbitrary blood line for jsutification.

however, in her book is a lot of explanaitons as to the concepts of owning and controlling... communists own the means of production, and thereby control it... fascists dont own the means of productino, but they control it through corporations.

the kicker is that her chapter on this, says it better than i EVER had... she expains nuanced differences between fascism and the capatalists in her chapter on it.

and her work is dense and interesting... you can tell that it was written before modern feminism whem women were full rounded people, and not socialist shills.

she is a good example of what feminisms points could have made if they didnt get rapped up in the same ideology that this woman rails against!!!

note her biography..
Winifred (Freda) Utley (1899-1978) was the second child of Willie Herbert Utley (1866-1918) and Emily Williamson (1865-1945). Her father was a socialist journalist and her maternal grandfather a freethinker, a republican and a manufacturer in Manchester. Plain-featured, short-sighted and hard of hearing, Freda remained a being born to believe. Educated in a rationalist and humanist mode, she was brought up to be a conscientious atheist and to see religion as only the shield of tyranny, intolerance and cruelty. Hot for certainties in life, she became imbued with an abiding passion for freedom and justice which proved as strong as any religious fervour. She grew into a thoroughly modem woman, emancipated from the traditions of the past but retaining a tough Puritan core.

not one mention of a consolidating marxist concept of woman... its not needed as it adds nothing but marxist control to the mix (be a woman and go against the sisterhood and see how much they promote your freedom).

her ideas of humanism, and socilism (more social justice and fairness, not redistribution of wealth), are the ones that the west gets sold on.. but in practice, what you get is communist socialism.. as the crap floats to the top in that system

she took the words of the socialists.. and her husband and her took a trip to move.. and nearly never made it out again (we forget the movie with gregary hines... we forgot that he played a trapped character that was true of the reverse defector)

From her education in Switzerland, she acquired an international outlook. She never believed in the particular wickedness or virtue of any one people, race or nation or in the intrinsic superiority of any race or nation to another. She never became much of a feminist and was saved from becoming 'the type of unsexed, frustrated or embittered woman who provides dynamic energy to all movements for the regimentation of mankind' such as Beatrice Webb or Eleanor Roosevelt. Aspiring to liberate mankind from immemorial oppression, she sought to usher in, through political activity, a new era of human freedom.

so you can see that she didnt believe because of ideological points.. she believed points, and the ideology advertised that they were meeting those points! thats a big differnce.. (as most today are sold on the ideology first, then on the features... the goal first, the features next, and the path last if at all).

In 1923 Freda graduated from King's College, London, with first class honours in history. She undertook research under Norman H Baynes (1878-1961), submitted a thesis on 'The social and economic status of the Collegia from Constantine to Theodosius 11' and graduated in 1925 as an MA with distinction. She pursued her research at the London School of Economics under Charles M Lloyd (1878-1946), Foreign Editor of the New Statesman. There she worked for two full years on Eastern competition with the Lancashire cotton industry. She was confidently expected to become as distinguished a woman economic historian as Eileen Power (1889-1940). The general strike of 1926 proved to be 'the turning point of my early political development', leading her into the Communist camp.2 As the vice-president of the University Labour Federation she visited Russia, 'the Land of Promise' (JuneSept. 1927). 'To me it seemed that Russia had unlocked the gates of Paradise to mankind.'3 On her return she became a member of the Communist Party (1927-30). In 1928 she travelled through Siberia to China and Japan. In Tokyo she undertook for nine months pioneer field-work into economic history, studying the bases of competition by Japan and India with Lancashire. That period she always remembered with an aching nostalgia as the happiest year of her life. She sought to avoid being 'overwhelmed by Japanese courtesy and hospitality' 4 and praised 'the incredible industry, devotion to their children and natural cleanliness of the poorer Japanese.' 5

Freda had made two fateful decisions. In 1928 she married a Russian citizen, Arcadi Berdichevsky. In 1930 she emigrated to the USSR where she lived for five and a half years in Moscow. There she served in succession as a member of the Anglo­American section of the Comintern and as a textile expert at Promexport and at the Commissariat of Light Industry. After the publication of her monograph she became in 1932 a senior scientific worker at the Institute of World Economy and Politics of the Academy of Sciences. She studied the economic and political situation in the Far East, in order to provide theoretical foundations for policy decisions. Freda had already become suspicious of Soviet 'socialist' society after meeting its representatives in the Tokyo embassy in 1928. In Moscow she speedily became disillusioned with the Soviet regime but kept a half-hitch upon her tongue throughout her years in 'the Hell of Communist tyranny.'9 Then on 11 April 1936 her husband was arrested and was sentenced to five years in prison. Freda never saw Arcadi again and left the USSR ten days later (fearing that her baby son might be prohibited from leaving Russia, ed) 'with my political beliefs and my personal happiness alike shattered'. 10 Years were to pass before she again became free in mind and in spirit.

she too tells the tale of what the beast is about.. and still is... ]

until some other ideology runs it.


Russian says:

Thank you guys for your moral support.
Actually, I am not very touchy. Kim and me are old pals. As about the form of our dialogue, how else the dialogue of a Russophobe and a Russian (this also is a challenge nick-name) may look?
In the first place, I had taken her seriously and tried to comment on her publications, to explain her what I thought she was wrong about.
Than it occured to me that her specialization is a pure russophobia, and whatever you say in objection, she will never accept. Her goal is to find some piece of sh*t and smear it over whatever is Russian, as thick as possible.
She also shut me down on her La Russophobe web site by not publishing my comments.
So I do not go too deep in commenting on her publications. Not that deep like Artfldgr.
Indeed, what you can say to the person who quite seriously keeps calling Putin a dictator, likens Hugo Chavez to Shamil Bassayev (Chehen terrotist who took a hospital and a school hostages), and thinks that the anti-aircraft missles with 5 miles range sold by Russians to Iran and the anti-ballistic missles defense the USA are planning to deploy in Polang and Czech Republic are the same class weapons?
And always the same thing in the end: Where is the Soviet Union now?
Anyway, I am not going just to make fun of her. If she writes something fresh I will be happy to comment seriously on that.

Russian says:


Sorry, Kim! I did not mean to guess the size right. It just happened so.
That was just my habit to decorate my writings a little bit.
By the way, why got so mad?
My mentioning of panty was an allusion to the pajamas. Thinking democratically, all pieces of clothing must be equal, and if you mentioned pajamas, why not me to do something alike?
What is vulgar about it, or where is a slander? OK, I have my boxers on right now. Even?
Actually panties are more important than pajamas. One can imagine a person without pajamas, and no problem from that. But if to imagine a person, especially a female one, without panties, it is kind of...
It may affect the writing ability.
As about your question:
And what will the blog YOU write on be called, little boy?
I will probably go deeper than Panties.
It will be called The Naked Truth

Russian says:


Sorry, man. I do not have my Tylenol handy, so I just run through your comments using my speed reading skills. Something could be lost.
My posting was not about giving moral judgements. Good things are good, and bad things are bad. We all have rather close ideas about what is what. We, in Russia, and you there, in the USA.
I just explained the background of Khodorkovskiy's case. Why it happened to him.
And when I said it was good for Russian political life and economy, I meant the practical use, not moral value.
Russia is in transition. It has an authoritarian presidency (the next president will be authoritarian too).
Because it is determined by the state of the Russian economy and society. Otherwise people will be lured by all kind of populists into endless demonstrations, strikes, meetings and other forms of protest including terrorism and armed rebellion up to a civil war.
And Russia is a combustible material, it is a multiethnic and multiconfessional country. What she needs now is political stability and economic growth. For people to be able to see the light in the end of the tunnel. It will help to create a strong middle class-the ground for the real democracy
It is like South Korea and Taiwan in 50-70-th or Pinochet's Chile. They were not democratic regimes, were they? I remember the photos in the media of the police shooting at the rebelious S. Korean students.
Now these contries are successful and democratic. It takes time. You can not jump over youself.

PS. Did you check befor going to bed if there is a commie under your bed? a joke

Russian says:

I apologize for tripled posting of the same comment, starting with Thank you guys for.... Something was wrong with the server. It gave out "ERROR, TRY AGAIN" message, though the thing was posted. Do no mind if you leave just one of the three.

John Hussey says:

"Russia", "When Putin came,(and he is a democrat in his soul)..." you can fool or trick some people some of the time but your quote is TOTAL BS!

Russian says:

To: John Hussey

You are wrong!
You have to look in Putin's eyes, to know what is in his soul. Did you?

Well, John, you never know where you may find hidden treasures.
President Musharaff(?)of Pakistan is a democrat in his soul too, though Pakistan is not a democracy. This is how it is John. Life is not that simple.

elmer says:

The first half of Russian's post, where he states the facts about Russian oligarchs, is actually accurate.

Predatory privatization happened in all of the former sovok countries.

However, artfldgr is absolutely correct when he says that in Russia the oligarchs stole the future of the Russian nation - and somehow, they are trying to characterize themselves as heroes, with Vlad Dracul Putin at the helm.

"Benign despots" - except that they are not benign, no matter how many churches they appear to build with their stolen money.

Other former sovok countries have, to a greater or lesser extent, worked their way out of predatory privatization, and its devastating effects.

Not so in Russia - the people have been beaten down for so long, and they have no tradition of democracy. So they have no idea what truly good government is, and have very little idea of how to organize themselves for good government.

Heck, they even push the idea that electing Putin is the same as electing a chairman of the board.

In other words, the corporatization of Russia is being pushed as equivalent to true democracy.

Except that corporations are not democracies.

So what you get is the equivalent of Mexico or Zaire.

A few very wealthy corrupt oligarchs. Nothing else.

And people voting with their feet to leave Russia.

Especially the women.

elmer says:

The kicker is that Russian tries to justify all of the evil by avoiding moral judgments.

"Stabilnost" is needed, says Russian - just like Stalin.

True democracy does require moral choices.

And it does not consist of putting political rivals in jail on trumped up tax evasion charges.

Nor does it consist of oligarchs using stolen money to build one or two churches, which noone ever attends anyway.

Oily Orthodox Russia - HA!

Lee Moore says:

I don't find Russian's suggestion that Putin is a democrat in his soul very convincing. From what one can see from the outside it seems very likely that if there were a genuine free election in Russia today, Mr Putin would win it convincingly. But it seems equally likely that Mr Putin's soul and democracy are strangers - otherwise he wouldn't be closing down political opponents quite so assiduously. He seems to be one of those "one man, one vote, once" merchants with which Africa has been afflicted for so long. The real issue is that there is a confusion - in the West just as much as in Russia - between democracy and a free society. Western countries are, on the whole, nice places to live because they are free societies. Their democratic elements are simply part of the structure designed to maintain a free society. But there are not mere democracies. The US formally, and other Western states less formally, have all those checks and balances necessary to achieve limited government, which is a necessary condition for a free society. Although great rhetorical obeisance is paid by Western politicians to the wonders of "democracy" what they really mean is "liberal democracy" - ie democracy plus all those checks and balances that allow individuals and private institutions to operate outside the control of the (democratically elected) government. Russia will not be a nice place to live in for many decades because Russia has no cultural background in personal autonomy or private institutions. It had little before 1917, and has even less now. But the hope is that such a culture will develop within decades rather than centuries. Japan - hardly a good historical candidate for limited government - seems to have managed the transition pretty well, and lots of other countries outside the Anglo-Saxon and European tradition seem to have developed respect for limited government quite quickly. Still as a Brit, I mustn't lecture people about limited government too much. My own government itself seems distinctly hazy on the concept, and keeps on justifying larger and more intrusive government by reference to democracy. Let's hope the Russians catch on to the value of limited government before we British entirely forget it.

elmer says:

I think the point about free societies is an excellent one - thanks.

ZZMike says:

Putin a democrat? That must be one of those obscure Russian jokes that don't translate well into English. Let us not forget Mr Putin's past: he came up out of KGB. Need we say more?

Second, take a look at all those who have been murdered:

Anna Politkovskaya
Valery Ivanov
Dmitry Kholodov
Yuri Shtshekotshichin
Igor Domnikov
Natalya Skryl
Paul Klebnikov
Dmitry Shvets

Readers who follow Russian news will recognize most of these names. They were all journalists, all working on uncovering corruption in Russian politics.

artfldgr makes telling points. He's either been there, or has spent most of his life reading between the lines. (Those Russian history books - the ones kept in loose-leaf binders - are not always the best source of what really happened.)

One minor point I would add to his litany is the bridge-building he is doing with the countries of the former USSR. And I mean, of course, oil-pipleine building. He has been gathering them to his collective vest, aiming no doubt to have an iron grip on all the oil in that part of the world - or at least, on the "Silk Road" of today: the pipelines.

Russian says:

to: ZZMike

ZZ, are you crazEE?
Why on the Earth woud Putin kill some poor Natasha Skryl?
By the way, who is she? A journalist? Where from? Never heard about her.

And how Putin is relevant to the killing of Dmitriy Kholodov? Kholodov was killed in 1994 in Moscow

when Putin was an unknown, low-ranked official in the Sanct-Petersburg mayor Anatoliy Sobchak's administration

Poor Paul Khlebnikov, what he did to Putin to be dealt with so hard?
And Politkovskaya...
I suspect La Russophobe did it to have the opportunity to say bad words about Putin.

Well based on your method I completed a kind of my list too:

Lindon Johnson killed:

John Kennedy,
Martin Luter King,
Robert Kennedy.

It was not James Carther, a good, peace loving man, but the president-elect Ronald Reigan who killed poor John Lennon in December 1980 (before being inagurated, not to have problems with this peace activist later).

And Michael Moore is absolutely right about "9/11 by Farengheit" and "Columbine massacre".

PS. KGB was just a law-enforsement and intellegence agency. They had all kind of emploees. Mean and stupid, like that "guy with the tin teeth" in James Bond movies, mediocre ones (most of them), and good and intellegent ones. Putin could be the latter.
What is bad about being a KGB worker?
G. Bush senior was a CIA director. Same kind, but worse (the rank is higher).

Russian (Bear from now on) says:

Aha! Elmer!
Here you are a loyal LR's page, holding her train!
Well, whatever Stalin said, political stability is the first condition for the healthy and growing economy. Would you invest money in an unstable country?

Bear (Russian) says:

Lee Moore

I like your comment.

Why you guys still keep monarchy the in GB?
Like Mark Twain wrote(Yankee at the court of King Arthur), Monarchy is an insult for any democrat. You could save some money on the Queen expences too.

As about Putin, let's try to prove his democratic essense "going from the opposite".
Is he a greedy or power thirsty person?
I do not see any evidence of it. He came to his post from nowhere, by chance, and he is going to leave it. I do not see any signs of him grabbing millions, though he may have some savings and investments, but not aquired strikinly shamelessly like Yeltsyn's "family" did. So, he is a statesman. He is concerned about his country and his legacy. He wants his country better and stronger. Do you think he would not be happy if Russia were a democracy, influational world power? With all the institutions working well, strong economy? Why not? He is the president. He will be written in the Annals of History (not LR's anals) after all.
But he got Russia as a problem country. Multiethnic, polyconfessional, with separatist tendencies. Population had not been well off in the Soviet time and was robbed even of what it had in the course of the post-Soviet privatization. People lost the ideological and moral grounds. A huge part of the new generation have been growing in the atmosphere of lawlessnes, disrespect for the Law, with no ideals.
So it is not an easy task to get everything right and right away.

elmer says:

How many rationalizations can russkies come up with for being one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to government?

How many times have I seen the "well, you can't get everything right immediately"?

How funny!

But it seems that theft and corruption - yep, they got that right, and right away, in every former sovok country.

Predatory privatization and cheesy oligarchs who build churches that noone attends or establish AIDS foundations with stolen money.

Oh, wait, the sovok system was all about corruption anyway, so it didn't take long for the sovok insiders to get that one right.

The difference is that other former sovok countries are SOOOO MUCH farther along in having free, open, and democratic societies.

Not so in Russia, which supports nuclear arms for Irans, just so Putin can feel like he has a penis, and which conducts trade wars with everyone.

And squelches anyone opposed to Putin, in the name of "stabilnost" - just like Stalin.

Would I invest in Russia? HELL, NO!!!!

Biggest bunch of thugs and crooks in the world. What is there to invest in? They put you in jail on the slightest pretext.

They conduct police raids on foreign firms, as a few companies have found out, for no good reason.

What kind of investment is that?

ZZMike says:

Russian: Where did I say that Putin killed all these people? Uncle Joe (Stalin) didn't pull the trigger on all those 10 million. Only on a few.

But all of those people were irritating Putin and his establishment, so they all had to be discouraged.

"PS. KGB was just a law-enforsement and intellegence agency. They had all kind of emploees."

That must be another one of those Russian jokes that don't translate well into English.

"Is he a greedy or power thirsty person?
I do not see any evidence of it. He came to his post from nowhere, by chance, and he is going to leave it."

I see. He's going to leave it by becoming Prime Minister, where he will be able to keep hold of the reins of power. Not like Khrushchev, who retired to his dacha.

And no one - no one - in Russia comes to power by chance.

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