>So you think the trial is actually or partially intended to detract attention from Putin's responsibility? Kinda like - search for a scapegoat because of course, it can't be the Leader himself who's to blame?
Yes I think so. There are (also like during Budennovsk) two unpleasant for the Kremlin questions: 1 who allowed the terrorists to enter Moscow? 2 who is responsible for the bloodbath (number of killed hostages as well as killed terrorists and servicemen is still unknown) during the Spetsnaz's action? Actually of course someone responsible for these both things is Putin. In such country as Russia no terrorist would ever come to Moscow without the FSB's support or at least their permission. Then of course none of Alpha soldiers will not fire if his general hasn't been given a direct President's order in writing (this, may be a very strange for a Westerner tradition, was initiated by General Grachev in October 1993). The official propaganda insists about the 2nd topic - it was a great victory may be the greatest since Stalingrad
, all were conducted in the most brilliant way, so it would have been impossible to save more people than were, then why should we punish someone? As about the 1st question: all happened on the Moscow's territory so try to ask Mayor Luzhkov, we know nothing. In result when the victims said that they have no pretensions to Comrade Putin they unvoluntary confirmed that they share the official position. IMHO the total action is more a confirmation of the official propaganda than a looking for a scapegoat. So all doubtfull persons now can be told: even these greedy and unpatriotic "truth-lovers" are pleased with Comrade Putin, do you want to be holier than Pope?
>Or do you mean that those who started the trial picked a lesser authority simply because they knew it was hopeless to target Putin himself - that he is "untouchable", either because of his power or because he is still too popular?
It could be a reason. Of course it was not the matter for the informers who would pay their money. According to some sources that idea was generated by Nemtsov (btw his name is popular in the Western papers) - the leader of so-called "liberals", "fighter for the Human Rights", "young reformator", big friend of Chubais (another famous person deserving a separate topic) and so on but actually the same strong Putinist as other Russian "liberal politicians" - who once gave his "juridical consultation" where suggested to initiate a case against Luzhkov. But I'm not sure that it was the main reason. Anyway the authorities have many methods to force the victims to initiate the "right" case. It's hard to say what was the strongest.
>Do people still believe the media, now that even stations like NTV have been silenced or coopted?
The most common feeling is total indifference. It's hard to believe or disbelieve the media because they bring up zero information. A typical news program (like a news program of the Communist period) consists of 3 parts: Putin's visit to somewhere (this guy is rushing about the world like an electron around a nucleus - nobody can say where he is at the moment, years ago after he had been just elected some analitics tries to explain his often travels from the point of global geopolitical reasons but now nobody more attempts to see any logic there) or his meeting with someone in the Kremlin or, in the worst case, his vacations at a ski resort with a lot of Putin's speeches (not more sensible or less boring than Brezhnev's ones); the 2nd part is about natural hazards that happen almost so frequently as Putin's voyages and the 3d part is international news - mostly Israel and anti-American actions around the world; possibly sometimes there are vigorous reports about new successes in Chechnya with big numbers of killed terrorists. As about analitic program or discussion clubs - such things have been totally absent for many years. Now the Russian TV has no political programs at all. All the time between these "news" are fulfilled by endless criminal traffic films where good guys (killers, drug dealers and other kinds of criminals) torture and kill in many unusual ways bad guys (the same criminals but ethnic Caucasians). Btw the main leader of the demonstration of such "native films" was the NTV before being shut. Generally this channel has never been opposite to Putin and had no differences from the government's ones. But independently of the NTV's stuff the channel got the reputation of an objective informational source (IMHO very surprisingly).
As about the Internet - it's really the most valuable information source but the problem is that it is still unaccessible for the most part of the population. These rich people who can afford themselves are mostly so called New Russians ("business and political elite" as these animals call themselves) - in other words the dirtiest remnants of our society - criminal "authorities" and former Comsomol (Union of Young Communists) activists connected with illegal businesses. Now such persons are allowed by the Putin's regime to do what they want like invaders in a foreign colony or occupied country and so all of them are the greatest Putin-lovers and "patriots".
>...Yuz Alezhkovsky's Kangaroo
An excellent writer. He is widely known as the author of the anti-Communist song: "Comrade Stalin, you are a great scientist...".
>Wasn't there a writer being prosecuted now, in what was seen as a test case in how far the government can go in tackling critics? Forget who it was - was it Sorokin ? How did that end?
Besides Sorokin there were Pelevin and Erofeev. None of them ever crticized the authorities or wrote anything about politic. Sorokin writes novels about different physiological dirtinesses (very hard to read and almost impossible to understand) with a lot of unprintable words (it's a common tradition in the todays Russian literature) that are his main guilt. Erofeev is the author of horrible stories about criminals (close to Aleshkovsky) with a lot of bad words also. Pelevin's style is philosophical novels with Buddist ideas writen in right literal Russian. His guilt is that some of his personages often take drugs so it allegedly "propagandizes healthless style of life". As about how did they end - one night a militia unit visited the publishing firm that had been dealing with Sorokin and confiscated the total edition of printed Sorokin's book - several thousand examples. Now Putinists may not care about this writer - none of businessmen will ever agree to spend his money for books that can be confiscated at any moment. Sorokin's writer's career is over. The most ridiculous thing is that the state youth patriotic movement "Going together" (created mostly basing on Nazi and pro-Nazi organisations) who used to sink Sorokins books in a giant toilet bowl are avowing to read nobody else but Dostoyevsky instead
As about how far the Kremlin is able to go against political opponents - I guess very far. Putin haven't got a chance yet to demonstrate it.
>We are to blame for Russia's internal problems, because we have the dollars.
Don't try to see any logic in Marxism.
>Docent, the interjection of humor was welcome. It also provides insight into the Russian mind.
This is a good example of the cult of personality those existing is so strongly denied by Putinists.
>...should serve an example to all the governments that face problem of terror
IMHO it's a VERY BAD example. If you see hostages in terrorist's hand you may kill them (terrorists of cource) or do anything else you find neccessary but MUSTN'T PROVOKE the terrorists to kill the hostages. The Putin's so called "hard" position really was a very dangerous provocation, he said: "I will kill you, stupid bandists, independently whether you are going to kill the hostages or not. Anyway you may do with them all what you want. I'm not worried about them." Thanks God Movsar Baraev wasn't enough brutal to blow up the whole theater (or may be he had some problems with explosives). What if he hadn't?
Guys, I'm sorry for the uncomfortable lenght of strings. This damned Windows XP has been just installed to my machine and it makes stringlenghts as it likes
. I'll try to outwork this problem soon.