Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Round-Up

because my internet keeps going in and out... so annoying...

First is this fun story about Vologdo (sure wish I knew more about Russian geography, I have no idea where this place is), where the regional authorities are practically giving away lumber to help people during the crisis.  And some people are actually taking advantage, but feel that "they should do more."  Well, one can't have everything, I guess.

Second, Oleg Deripaska apparently feels the same way (even after he has stuffed his pockets with money from the Gov, and been tight-fisted about sharing it).

Third, Boris the Bor-Ring has finally provided some entertainment for the masses (since he literally is like a corpse during the Duma sessions he presides over) by writing a song about... (drum-roll please)... football!  Here are some of the words according to The Moscow Times: Russia, go ahead!/ Our turn has come!/ Russia, go ahead!/ Victory is awaiting us!"  I kid you not.

And finally, the Georgian Mafia is alive and well in Moscow, according to Robert Amsterdam's blog.  This is just entertaining because it reminds me of study abroad days, and the amazing Georgian restaurant in Moscow that had guards with guns out front.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Facebook & Yuri Milner

The most interesting thing about all of this (or to me at least) is that no one has mentioned the connection between Yuri Milner, and Slava Surkov.  Obviously, I am interested in this because of my (very slight... j/k) crush on Slava (still planning on doing a PhD on him).  And I think (though I cannot remember exactly) Milner and Slava share a mutual connection to Alisher Usmanov (who is also connected to Kabayeva, strangely enough).
Mostly, however, this seems to be a continuation of the buying up of media outlets in an effort for control.  Though Mr Milner basically claims to be in it for the money... but why would you claim anything else?
Okay, so Chadayev is, but he seems to want to be the next Fidel Castro (even going so far as to steal some of Fidel's uniforms, apparently).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Andrei Babitsky

appears again... new article at Prague Watchdog.  All about the so-called end of CTO in Chechnya (though as someone recently pointed out, it was never called CTO until it was over).  Basically what I have wanted to say for several weeks but was too lazy to come up with.  Also, his writing style is about 10 times better than mine.

P.S. I am really enjoying the articles by German Sadulayev at PW.  Check him out if you get a chance.

Safonov Sacking

A little late, but rumour has it that Safonov was a victim of a fight between Yuri Chaika and First Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Ivanovich Bastrykin (biography in Russian: here).  According to an article by Brian Whitmore from about 20 months ago, this battle has been going on for about that long.  Presumably, Chaika is getting desperate.

Also, interesting note: Safonov may be related by marriage to Viktor Ivanov (the head of the Anti-Narcotics Agency).

Victory Day

I am not sure who wrote this latest video blog post for Dmitry Medvedev, but it was pretty convicting.  Mostly because, for some reason, I feel a great affinity for the feelings behind Victory Day.  At the same time, it was filled with a lot of moralising that was, quite frankly, a little sickening.
As a bit of a side note, I am curious to know who has been coaching DAM.  His presentation continues to improve.  One assumes it is one of my favourite people (whom I am still thinking of doing my PhD on).  On the other hand, Natalya Timakova has been credited with DAM's transformation, so who knows?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pavel Kuznetsov

cannot make up his mind.  First story from Reuters: "Russia's Kudrin received U.S. court subpoena..."  According to the article, a subpoena for the trial of Misha Khodorkovsky was handed to Alexei Leonidovich as he was heading to a meeting in DC.

Then, some time later, RFE/RL posted a story where Pavel Kuznetsov stated: "The Russian delegation is not aware of any facts of handover of any documents with lawsuits against the Russian Federation or Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin during his stay in Washington..."

CRAZY!! This is just another reason I love Russia.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Or...

they will crash because they have trouble reading the signs.  Nice!  But we are not Wahabbi!  No way!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Repetitive Complaint

Where is Andrei Babitsky?  Liz Fuller just does not cut it for me...
But her basic point is true: Ramzan Kadyrov wants the best of both worlds, and at this point he has it.  But what happens when he goes?  Because he definitely will.  Will there be a vacuum, or will Adam be able to fill Ramzan's shoes?

Meanwhile, Paul Goble has a piece today entitled: "No Chechens To Be Drafted This Year."
"...Moscow’s decision to set higher draft quotas in predominantly ethnic Russian areas than in historically Muslim ones an arrangement that means ethnic Russians are more likely to have to serve."  
Why would you do that to yourself?!  You are already suffering a population decline!  What idiots!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Anne Applebaum's

latest piece here.  All about Moldova's so-called "Twitter Revolution."  I do wonder sometimes how much she and her husband influence each other...