Tag Archives: Russia

Gorbachev Blasts Lack Of Press Freedom In Russia

In an interview with the German newspaper, Der Spiegel, former Russian leader, Mikhail Gorbachev expressed concern regarding the state of freedom of the press in his country. He was particularly dismayed at the murder of four journalists who worked for Novaya Gazeta, a publication that frequently has been critical of the policies of Prime Minister Vladmir Putin. Gorbachev gave the newspaper money to purchase computers, “some of them were stolen and destroyed in an attempt to get rid of the sensitive information on the hard drives.” Gorbachev expressed hope the investigations into the murder of reporters, but was pleased President Medvedev recently granted an interview to the newspaper.

Gorbachev believes the interview reflects a desire on the part of President Medvedev to restore a semblance of freedom of the press and to warn those who attack reporters. Gorbachev expressed his belief that freedom of the press will continue its progress and Russia is “moving in the right direction” on this issue.

Russia Backs Obama, Ignores Israeli FM

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov praised President Obama for offering new alternatives in dealing with Iran. He indicated Obama’s approach will assist in efforts to reach agreements with Iran. However, Lavrov also met with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman who he politely made clear to that Russia will work with other nations in pursuit of peace with Iran but would not engage in any form of military action. However, Lavrov said Russia was urging Hamas and President Abbas to cooperate in pursuit of peace.

Lieberman still does not grasp that few outside his own nation regard him as anything other than a buffoon who lacks any understanding of what must occur to bring peace to the Middle East. For some reason, voters in Israel actually believe this vicious hater of Muslims will be of any assistance in bringing peace to their nation.

Don’t Get Beaten Up In Putin Russia

Hospitals in Russia offer free medical care to those who have the unfortunate problem of placing their face in the path of punches thrown by thugs who believe Prime Minister Putin is the greatest man on the planet. However, there is a limit to the kindness of hospitals to those whose face got in the path of defenders of freedom. Mikhail Beketov, an opposition newspaper man, was found last November lying in the snow near his home. He was informed a few days ago that his time of relaxation at state expense is over. He has a tracheotomy in his throat, and his blood circulation is not proper, but what the heck, who told him to get his face in the path of punches! His lawyer was fortunate not to get beaten up, they just shot and killed him in January.

Bekektov is still under police guard and the hospital decided after complaints to allow him a few more days doing nothing until he finds another place to obtain medical treatment. Such is life for editors who oppose the great man of Russia– Vladmir Putin.

Missiles And Missiles- What About Them?

Almost two decades ago when the Soviet Union collapsed, there was hope it also marked the end of concern about missile attacks, but recent events suggest, old fears have become new ones. Iran launched what was considered to be a successful missile which went over one thousand miles, a sufficient distance to impact either Europe or Israel. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates noted it was still unclear if the missile actually hit an intended target. At the same time, President Obama and Gates were debating the need to pursue George Bush’s idea for a missile defense system in eastern Europe which is strongly opposed by Russia.

The Czech Republic government which agreed to cooperate on a missile system has fallen and most opinion polls indicate most Czechs do not want to have anything to do with missile systems in their nation. The intelligent process is to invite Russia to become partners in an anti-missile system that protects it from attack as well as Europe. Of course, why would Iran launch a missile attack knowing full well it would result in a barrage of missiles pounding its own country?

Can I Walk With A Man Dressed Like A Woman?

There were fewer than three dozen men and women who gathered to protest against lack of gay rights in Russia, but to the police they represented forces of revolution who threatened to over turn the government. An “unsanctioned protest” called “slavic pride” aroused concern on the part of Russian authorities who rushed vans of police to the place of protest in order to maintain law and order. The gay pride group shouted threatening slogans such as: “Equal Rights! Homophobia Is A National Disgrace!” TV cameras rolled as police seized members of the group in order to take them away to prison.

Nikolai Alexeyev was walking arm and arm with a drag queen when police questioned him. He asked what was the nature of the offense he was committing and was told: “We have reason to think that you are going for a walk with a man dressed up like a woman.” I guess if a woman walks arm and arm with a woman dressed like a man it is equally threatening to law and order in Putin, Russia.

I wonder how one proves if dressed like a woman that you are really a woman and not a man dressed like a woman.

Lesbians Let Down In Russia

The brides wore white satin an d pinstripes as Irina Shepitko and Irinia Fedotova entered the State Registry Office in hope their effort to become wife and wife would be recognized by Russian officials, but their hopes were in vain. The chief registrar refused to consider the requests of the women on ground the Family Code states a marriage requires the consent of a man and a woman, not a woman and a woman. She also pointed out the form refers to “he” and “she” not she and she. Although, gay marriages have been recognized as legal in many countries including parts of the United States, Russian homophobia is strong.

The brides made clear the rejection was simply an acknowledgment that in Russia the forces of discrimination were more powerful than the force of love. The couple kissed and hugged one another, but the registrar would not accept either a kiss or hug.

International Piracy Court?

A Russian military vessel captured about twenty nine pirates and freed some prisoners and now face the confusing issue of what to do with the pirates. The Russian ship is currently holding the pirates, but has yet to determine what is the best course of action. President Dimity Medvedev is considering the possibility of calling for creation of an International Court for Pirates that would place these men on trial. At present, the only alternative is to take the pirates back to one’s nation where the confusing process of a trial for men who are most probably not conversant with the judicial process would raise issues of concern.

The idea of an International Court for Pirates would finally resolve the issue of jurisdiction which currently is completely uncertain. It would lend itself to having Somali lawyers present to ensure the pirates had access to legal assistance. It makes some sense.

Russia Says It Is Triumphant In Chechnya

Ten years ago, then Prime Minister Vladmir Putin sent thousands of Russian troops into the secessionist republic of Chehnya and made clear they would remain until victory had been achieved. During the ensuing decade, thousands died on each side in a bloody and cruel war in which there were brutalities on both sides. Chechnya became a hotbed for insurgents because of the inept and brutal actions by Russian soldiers who abused both the enemy and innocent civilians. About seven thousand men took to the hills in 2000 to continue the fight against Russia, but as the years passed and the reality of life in mountains and constant fighting finally caught up, the men slowly went back home either with a pardon or simply out of exhaustion.

The secessionists divided into an Islamic and a Chechen nationalist group. The secessionists during the time period 1996-1999 had control over a state, but internal squabbling and incompetent leaders cost them an opportunity to present Russia with a fait accompli by letting the world see an independent and democratic society. Putin put in charge brutal local Chechen leaders who saw no problem in killing secessionists as long as they got power and money. The Chechens sold out and lost their people an opportunity for having their own state.

Georgians Protest Against Their President

President Saakashvili of Georgia was an admirer of George Bush and attempted to draw upon this friendship to invade South Ossetia last year assuming the United States would support his efforts, particularly if Russia intervened. The result was a complete fiasco and Georgian troops were readily defeated. During the past week, thousands of Georgians have been protesting against the authoritarian rule of Saakashvili and demanding his resignation. But, to the president if anyone opposes his authoritarian rule, they must be in the employ of foreign agents sent from Russia. He made clear, “no matter ow mush is spent and what they might do, Georgia is a stable country.”

The people of Georgia want their president to be held accountable for his failed policies and Russia is not behind the unrest, just thousands of restless Georgians who want a truly democratic society.

Russian Drones Announce Their Arrival!

During last year’s Russian war with Georgia, its troops would hear the sound of a drone off in the distance and soon as the object appeared over their heads, they would blast it out of the sky. Unfortunately, the drone that was being shot down was a Russian drone. Prime Minister Putin proclaims the arrival of a new Russian military force, but its leaders recently returned from Israel where they negotiated to purchase Israel drones, the same ones that Israel had sold the Georgians. Russian military leaders insist they do not intend to use the Israel drones in combat but seek to study its technology in order to figure out how to develop drones that are shot down by the enemy, not the Russian army.

Perhaps, Israel has discovered a new industry. Encourage two nations to engage in war and then sell them weapons to kill one another. As long as all of the enemy is not killed, there is plenty of business for the Israel government.