As some of you noticed, I haven’t blogged in almost a month. I’ve missed commenting on a lot of news—the outcome of the Gazprom-Ukraine crisis, the continued politics of natural gas supply and demand, the recent British spy scandal and its potential effect on NGOs, in addition to a whole host of big and small stories. What a time to be too busy to blog! As some of you know, I’m writing my dissertation in Russian history on the Young Communist League in the 1920s. An upcoming deadline for a chapter, applying for writing grants, and beginning to teach has absorbed most of my time over the last month. Some of these things (grant writing and chapter deadline) will pass in the next few weeks. I plan on returning to regular blogging then.
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By Sean — 13 years ago
Amnesty International released a report this week on domestic violence in Russia. The report gives some horrifying statistics on violence against women perpetrated by husbands, boyfriends and relatives. Here is the rundown:
- 70 per cent of women said that they had been subjected to one or another form of violence (psychological, sexual, physical and economical) by their husband
- 36 per cent of women experienced physical and psychological violence
- 7 per cent of women endured all forms of violence (physical, economic, sexual and psychological) simultaneously
- over 70 per cent of women said they suffered from some form of psychological discomfort in relation to their husband, including stress, anxiety, lack of confidence, powerlessness, dependency, despair, guilt, fear or inadequacy
- 51 per cent of women experienced restrictions of some kind or had threats made against them. Twenty-two per cent were threatened with physical harm; 15 per cent were threatened with abandonment
- 90 per cent of all respondents had either witnessed scenes of domestic psychological violence between their parents, or had experienced it in their current relationship.
- 58 per cent of women had been subjected to aggression from one or another close male (current or former husband, fianc? or lover)
- 18 per cent of women found themselves in a situation of regular or severe physical mishandling by their husbands
- 48 per cent of women beaten were attacked while they were pregnant, breast feeding, had small children, were ill, had lost their job or were experiencing difficulties at work, or were experiencing physical or mental suffering and found themselves in a position of helplessness
- Over 60 per cent of women beaten by their husband had experienced various degrees of trauma as a result; 3 per cent of all those questioned required medical assistance.
If readers need to put a human face on these numbers, I suggest reading the section of the report that chronicles “Anna’s Story.” There is no need for further comment. The numbers speak for themselves. Amnesty is correct to name domestic violence as a serious human rights violation. Based on official numbers, 9000 women out of a population of 143 million are killed in 2003. For certain, the numbers are much higher. To get some perspective on the scope of the problem in Russia, here are some statistics for the United States. According to RFE/RL article on the report, 2,000 to 3,500 woman of a population of 300 million are killed annually in the U.S. at the hands of husbands, relatives, and boyfriends.
By Sean — 12 years ago
I’m fascinated by Eduard Limonov and the controversy surrounding him. In
Moscow, I bought his Limonov protiv Putina to get a better idea of his thought on under Putin. Time has not permitted me to read the book. I hope to get to it soon. I also purchased B. G. Yakemenko’s denunciation, Limonov o Limonove i ne tol’ko, of the National Bolshevik leader as a fascist. Yakamenko is one of Nashi’s main ideologues. My own analysis of the National Bolsheviks can be found here. Russia
Anyway, the point of this post isn’t so much about Limonov as it is about pointing to his recent article, “Putin’s Dirty Game in Georgia” published in this week’s The Exile. Here is an excerpt:
For the last month
‘s society is shaken by anti-Georgian epileptic fit. Federal television stations are translating criminal stories of exclusively “Georgian” crimes committed on Russian territory by ethnic Georgians. The Russian political class turned against Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, numerous articles are written, and interviews are given in order to portray Saakashvili as traitor to Russian interests and worst, as an American agent. Russian police is busy hunting Georgians at metro stations, at market places, as well as on the streets and in the trains. Even popular personalities of Russian public life, such as writer Boris Akunin (Tchkhartishvili) or sculptor Tsereteli, or ex-intelligence officer Kikabidze, are under attack: Internal Revenue Service is checking their revenues and paid taxes. Thousands of Georgians are deported. Russia
As nothing of sort can happen in
without permission of Vladimir Putin, President, I should believe that President of Russia at least is agree with persecutions of Georgians. Even more, I believe that all that hysteria is created by President of Russia. I believe that simple personal conflict is hidden behind anti-Georgian campaign in Kingdomof Russia . Russia
Young, stout, big, wine drinker, gourmand and bon-vivant Saakashvili, husband of a pretty foreign wife, is drastically opposite type than ascetic, tiny, puritan, square Putin. That couple is predestined to be the enemies.
Another distinction between Georgian and Russian presidents — Saakashvili is public politician, he started his career as a disciple of Shevardnadze, who he has defeated by personally leading “Rose Revolution.” Exuberant, mocking, scornful, good speaker — Saakashvili feels great at parliament, and public places. He is street politician. While President Putin is at his best when working hidden in his office. He is introvert, he hates to face the crowds. Vladimir Putin is appointed leader, appointed by Yeltsin, Putin is a maitre of hidden intrigue. Putin is bureaucrat. They probably hate guts of each other, those two.
It is known that Putin is revengeful person. Old hand of his administration once told me that sudden hike in price of natural gas to
wasn’t result of premeditated plan, but happened after President Lukashenko committed slip of tongue during televised interview, said few unpleasant words about Putin. Putin was enraged, he murmured, “He didn’t respect, he didn’t respect me…” In order to punish Lukashenko, he gave order to rise price of gas for Belorussia . Nobody told me that President Putin was enraged by Saakashvili, but I believe that my analysis is absolutely right, no matter what other analytics said. Psychological structure of Russian leader is dictating foreign and internal policies of contemporary Belorussia . Russia
As far as whether Limonov is making any creditable sense, I’ll let you decide.
By Sean — 12 years ago
Two weeks ago, Suzi Weissman, who has a weekly program called Beneath the Surface on the local Pacifica station (KPFK) here in Los Angeles, interviewed Berkeley historian Yuri Slezkine on his outstanding book, The Jewish Century. I wrote a review of it months ago. You can read it here. I recommend the interview for more insight into this amazing and path breaking work.