Russophile brought my attention to the following news from the Financial Times. Arch Putin enemy oligarch Boris Berezovsky admitted in an interview with FT reporter Jimmy Burns that he is indeed funding Other Russia. Don’t believe it? Listen to the audio file yourself. Russophile is right, Borya just doesn’t get it. He also is just plain stupid. If he wants to throw money into an opposition, he should at least find one that is politically relevant. Now no one should be surprised when OMON unleashes its “Other Russia be good” sticks. BAB just confirmed what the Nashisty et. al. have been claiming all along.
You Might also like
By Sean — 5 years ago
The bombings in Boston carried out by Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev brought the United States and Russia a smidgeon closer. Few are betting the goodwill will last long. Nevertheless, the bombing was a reminder the two continental empires share a common cause against terrorism. But that is not all. The brothers’ Tsarnaev’s terrorist attack also proved that when faced with uncanny events, some Americans and Russians turn to conspiracy for an exegesis.
Why do people believe in conspiracy theories? According to a recent paper, conspiracy thinking helps “reinstall a sense of order and predictability in the aftermath of threatening societal events” by explaining and rationalizing “complex real-world phenomena into a coherent set of assumptions about the existence of a powerful and evil enemy.” Put simply, conspiracist ideation is a means to put a chaotic, complex, and unpredictable world back into a comprehensible and moral order. Conspiracy thinking provides psychological comfort.Post Views: 375
By Sean — 7 years ago
In the Soviet 1920s the leather jacket was the communist fashion statement. It symbolized proletarian ruggedness, ideological fortitude, and the quintessential expression of revolutionary manliness. The fact that few “proletarians” could avoid such a luxury was irrelevant. Cowhide was more an accoutrement for those who lacked the proletarian stock to acquire the image of a defender of the working masses. Thus when the author V. F. Panova’s husband decided shed his intellectual lineage and “forge” himself into an “iron Bolshevik,” he strutted around in a leather jacket, “spoke with an echoing base” and “worked at a wild pace to add extra authenticity.
By the late 1930s, when most communists abandoned leather for wool suits, the jacket became the provenance of the secret police, the self-anointed embodiment of the Revolution. Indeed, leather’s sleek shine went well with Felix Dzerzhinsky’s famous slogan that a good Chekist had “clean hands, a cool head, and a warm heart.” That is to say, as the leather jacket served as a communist costume to mimic militancy, so did Dzerzhinsky’s slogan varnish the fact that in reality, Chekists had neither clean hands, cool heads, nor warm hearts.
This jaunt back into Soviet history is merely to note that some habits die hard, especially if they’re seared into tradition and memory. The leather jacket continues to have meaning for Russia’s security organs. So much so that the Federal Protective Service (FSO), which serves as Presidential security and possesses a wide range of police powers, placed an order to purchase 120 black leather jackets for its high ranking officers, reports Zakupki-News, a site that monitors government officials’ outlandish spending. The cost for just 60 Chekist chic jackets is about 3 million rubles ($106,000).
The Cheka-GPU-NKVD redux wasn’t lost on readers. One commenter on Zakupki-News wrote, “They still haven’t bought the Mausers?” in reference to the pistol used to execute “enemies of the people” in the 1930s. Another quipped, “Or is so this they can standout among the People’s Front?” Or another, “Ah, beautiful. Dirt to filth is a natural movement.”
The FSO’s extracurricular spending should come as no surprise. In May, it allocated 336,000 rubles ($12,129) to purchase marble bathtubs. And not just any marble tub. They had to be “white marble, 1900 mm long, 900 mm wide, and 520 mm high.” The tubs had to hold 310 liters of water. When a journalist asked Mikhail Moksyakov, a rep from the FSO, whether the white marble tubs were for his apartment, he responded, “And why can’t we buy a bathtub? Why does this interest you, exactly?
He has a point. Chekists need to bathe too. How else do you expect them to keep their hands clean?Post Views: 1,317
By Sean — 5 years ago
This week’s Russia! Magazine column, “Russia’s Descent into Absurdity,”
A rather hilarious petition, “Check E. B. Mizulina’s mental health” is circulating around RuNet. If you don’t know who Elena Mizulina is, you should. She’s the preeminent cultural warrior for Kinder, Kirche, Kuche in Putin’s Russia. Mizulina is also better known as the force behind the anti-gay propaganda law as well as, according to the petition, “more and more absurd laws.” “We clearly see that this person,” the petition reads, “is living in a imaginary world (which is one of the signs of schizophrenia), she accuses anyone who doesn’t agree with her with collaborating with the “pedophile lobby” (paranoia), and possess an immense inferiority complex, for example, she demands that the phrase “gays are people too” be recognized as extremist (her demand, too, is in and of itself extremist).” The petition goes on to ask that the “best specialists” examine Mizulina’s mental health as the “mentally ill have no place in the Duma of the Russian Federation.” It’s no wonder so many believed Ksenia Sobchak’s tweets that she saw Mizulina on TV saying that the anti-gay propaganda law would include banning oral sex. “Is that so? Will it be illegal to publicly eat an Eskimo Pie?” she asked. Then the It-Girl sent another: “Mizulina’s next law will be connected to the adverse effect lollipops are having on the country’s demographic situation.” The tweet went viral, resulting in several major Russian news outlets reporting the fellatio ban as truth. But truth is the first thing to go in the “world of fantasy and fairy tales.”
As Peter Pomerantsev urges us to consider, the absurd and the phantasmagoric have come to govern Putin’s third term. The specter of enemies from within and without, the clumsily managed trials, staged raids and thinly disguised trumped-up investigations, and the litany of foolish laws, of which Mizulina stands at the center, all speak to a Russia that has descended into a dark comedy with an infinite ensemble, limitless budget, and boundless stage. Perhaps most unfortunate, this gallows humor appears to have eternal air-time. The off button has been scrapped off the remote. It’s as if the Kremlin and its adherents, which were so adept at managing democracy, are now only capable of managing Putinism’s descent into nonsense.Post Views: 1,609