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WHAT'S IT LIKE LIVING IN RUSSIA TODAY?

 
 
Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2008 07:29 pm
Wonderful! I am honored.

Thanks for the tip re the Europe thread.

What are Russians' thoughts about Obama and McCain?
SerSo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 09:45 am
@Mapleleaf,
Mapleleaf wrote:
What are Russians' thoughts about Obama and McCain?

Hi, I am back. Apologies for the long absence in this thread, the new site design is still something I have to struggle through. Have made another trip to Germany and also visited Paris, France just at the same time when the war with Georgia happened.

As to Russians' thoughts about Obama and McCain, my answer is long overdue. Will try to answer it first. I have already wrote somewhere at a2k that Russians normally understand very little any differences between republicans and democrats in the US and begin to take notice when the candidates start discussing foreign policy. So, Mr.McCain's words that Russia should be expelled from G8 and other international forums were noticed. It created him a reputation of an old retrograde here and Mr.Obama is more popular in Russia; most people tend to think he will be the next US president. However the public opinion views both candidates as only disagreeing in details on how to impose American way of life on other nations and punish Russia for not embracing western values. No one here is expecting any great improvement or deterioration in Russian-American relations, which seem to follow events but not determine them.

Honestly, the consequences of the credit crunch now interest people here much more than American elections and foreign policy in general, though it becomes clear that in a global crisis international relations can impact things.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 10:02 am
@SerSo,
Hi SerSo, Welcome back, and please provide us with updates. T.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Dec, 2008 05:53 pm
Quote:
Russia scraps right to jury trial

Russia has scrapped the right to trial by jury for people accused of organising violent crime, terrorism and civil unrest.

Telegraph
12 Dec 2008

The country's parliament voted to back a bill backed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's dominant United Russia party giving three judges the right to rule on cases involving terrorism, hostage-taking, armed insurrection, sabotage and civil disturbances.

The bill will go before Russia's upper house, the Federation Council where approval is expected to be a formality, before it becomes law.

The move came 15 years to the day since the adoption of Russia's first post-Soviet Constitution which reintroduced jury trials abolished by the Bolsheviks in 1917.

Critics said the move raised the spectre of a return to Soviet-style trials ..

Read on..
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2008 07:01 pm

Excerpts:

Quote:
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has announced that he will head a government panel on the film industry, leading many to worry about a return to communist-style state command over this crucial art form.

Although many in the film community are pleased to have the government's attention, others -- like film critic Yury Bogomolov -- worry that it is ideologically driven, following the Soviet-era practice of harnessing the influential medium to boost patriotism and support for the state. [..]

During the hard economic times of the 1990s, the Russian film industry ground to a halt, unable to compete with a flood of foreign films freely available for the first time. Under Vladimir Putin, though, the sector made a remarkable comeback. With generous funding from state agencies -- including the military and the security agencies, all of which have budgets to support media projects that depict them positively -- Russian filmmaking has returned in a big way.

With some 250 films in production in 2007, more than 100 of them fully or partially funded by government agencies, Russia is now Europe's second-largest filmmaker after France. The Defense Ministry and the Orthodox Church have launched their own channels with considerable airtime to fill. Three Russian films were nominated for Academy Awards this year.

Putin has made no secret of his belief that state media, including film, and the schools should actively promote patriotism and national values. [..] Producer Sergei Chliyants told RFE/RL that the council could take either of two directions. [..] “It will be bad if the Putin council begins to read scripts, or dictates what are the socially significant themes, or follows a path of vertical integration and forcing the consolidation of the industry under certain well-known structures.”

On the other hand, Chliyants said, “if this organization combats [intellectual] piracy, helps improve relations between cinema and television or between domestic filmmakers and foreign ones, helps get past some shortcomings in the policies of advancing and promoting our films abroad, then it is good. Because it is true that in our country you can only get something done with the support of the senior leaders." [..]

Putin's right-hand man in reviving Russian film over the last decade has been Nikita Mikhalkov, one of Russia's best-known directors and a former Unified Russia Duma deputy. His moody 1994 film "Burnt By The Sun" captured the grinding daily tension of the height of Stalin's purges and won the Oscar for best foreign-language film. Mikhalkov has headed the Russian Cinematographers Union since 1997.

Mikhalkov is a strong supporter of Putin. Last year, he produced a glowing television biography of Putin to mark the then-president's 55th birthday, and he provoked controversy by issuing an open letter in the name of the union urging Putin to remain as president for a third term, despite a constitutional ban on his doing so.

This week in Moscow, the Cinematographers Union held a disputed congress that Mikhalkov denounced as illegitimate. The union membership is sharply divided over Mikhalkov's authoritarian style and concerned that his close relationship with Putin could result in less independence for filmmakers.
0 Replies
 
Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Dec, 2008 08:56 pm
@nimh,
Is Putin at the center of power in Russia; if not, then whom? Can he project his influence over one or more decades?
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Dec, 2008 07:05 am
@Mapleleaf,
Yes and yes.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 06:10 pm
Posted this blog post:

Burying Perestrojka: the rehabilitation of Stalin and the clampdown on his critics

Description:

Quote:
Rossiya TV launched a show to elect the greatest Russian of history, and in the course of a year, millions of votes were cast. Now the final tally is in, and Stalin's in third place, mere thousands of votes removed from the top spot.

The organisers were long embarrassed, but his showing fits right in with efforts by Putin's state to rehabilitate Stalin.

When police last month seized the digital archives of Memorial, with hundreds of thousands of records and stories of Stalin's victims, it felt like someone hammered the very last nail in the coffin of the Perestroika era.
0 Replies
 
Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jan, 2009 11:24 pm
There was a time, during the early days of Bush's administration, that the Neo-conservatives reminded me of the strong handed ways of Russia. Now, I have difficulty picturing the minds and motivation of the evolving Russian leaders....or, should I say de-evolving. Should I view them as the Bullies of neighborhood? Also, I get the feeling that some of the nations who wish to be associated with the EU are using the USA/EU as a wedge to take on Russia. Didn't Georgia precipitate the recent conflict with Russia?
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 08:05 pm
@Mapleleaf,
Mapleleaf wrote:
Should I view them as the Bullies of neighborhood?

Wouldn't be unreasonable..

Mapleleaf wrote:
Also, I get the feeling that some of the nations who wish to be associated with the EU are using the USA/EU as a wedge to take on Russia.

True. Of course you can't quite blame them for straining to get some external protections and alliances, by hook or by crook, considering the historical track record of their interactions with their Russian neighbour..

Mapleleaf wrote:
Didn't Georgia precipitate the recent conflict with Russia?

Yes, it did. Doesn't excuse Russia's response, but yes, Saakashvili's government started that round, and in a most bloody manner.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 08:08 pm
Yes, this story is from the Pravda site, I know. But all they do here is present an article from another, not similarly tainted source:

Quote:
Russia’s biggest yes-men do their utmost to flatter Putin

22.12.2008
Pravda.Ru

Russia’s Kommersant Vlast Journal made an unofficial list of Russia’s biggest yes-people in 2008. The list includes most flattering remarks, which Russian politicians made about Prime Minister Putin and President Medvedev. The journal already published such a list before, in 2007 " the chairman of the Russian Central electoral Committee, Vladimir Churov was named the biggest yes-man with his rhetoric question " “Can Putin be ever not right?” This year’s list mostly includes flattering remarks about Vladimir Putin, but was slightly extended with appraisals of Dmitry Medvedev. Politicians, human rights activists, culture activists and journalists " they all flatter Putin, the Prime Minister and Medvedev, the President.

Ten best yes-people in 2008

1. “Your democratism has no limits!” " St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko said October 7 during the celebration of Putin’s birthday.

2. “I thank God for Putin and I respect Yeltsin for two things which he did in his life. The first one of them is the moment when he placed his Communist Party card on the table. The second one is the fact that he brought Putin to power,” Russian film director Nikita Mikhalkov said November 25 at his press conference in Kiev.

3. “Vladimir Vladimirovich, it’s very good that you were born!” writer Daniil Granin said October 7 at Putin’s birthday.

4. “After the victory of the Russian national team at the World Hockey Championship, Russian officials have a right to ask their Western colleagues: “Don’t you understand that Putin was doing everything right?” State Duma deputy Sergei Markov said May 19 in an interview with Rosbalt news agency.

5. “If one asks our opposition what they don’t like about Putin and Medvedev they will say something like this: “They are both made of gold, it is true, but this gold is not enough,” a senior official spokesman for United Russia party, Oleg Morozov said June 30 in an interview with Itogi magazine.

6. “We were listening to Vladimir Putin’s suggestions with a lot of attention and respect,” Ekaterinburg Mayor Arkady Chernetsky said February 3 at a local meeting to support Medvedev as a presidential candidate.

7. “We see you as a person who represents a strategic phenomenon per se,” the head of the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions, Alexander Zapesotsky said October 7 when celebrating Putin’s birthday.

8. “Putin is a giant!” the chairman of board of directors of Financial Corporation Sistema, Vladimir Yevtushenkov said October 2 in an interview with the Vedomosti newspaper.

9. “The life and deeds of Vladimir Putin make an expressive proof of the saying " “It’s not a place that adorns a person. It’s a person that adorns a place.” No matter where he worked, whether it would be a public position or not, his talent, energy and determination have always resulted in success,” the Federation Council chairman Sergei Mironov said October 7 during his official visit to the Irkutsk region.

10. “President Putin has always commanded respect and admiration with me. The people have become kinder " this is an attribute of Putin’s policies,” legal expert of the Lipetsk region, Svetlana Semenova said May 7 in an interview with the Lipetsk Newspaper.

Other flattering remarks about Putin that did not make it in the top ten list.

“To achieve Putin’s level, Medvedev, at least, will need to make all the heroic deeds that Putin has done during eight years of his presidency,” deputy Sergei Markov said in an interview with Gazeta.ru website.

“Every party of the world would like to have a leader like Putin, intelligent, educated and effective,” the chairman of the State Duma Committee for Physical Culture and Sports, Vladislav Tretyak said April 15 prior to the beginning of the United Russia congress.

0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Jan, 2009 06:38 pm
When it comes to Russia's creeping rehabilitation of Stalin, a good follow-up read was published last month in openDemocracy. The Embrace of Stalinism was written by Memorial's founder Arseny Roginsky, apparently on the eve of the police raid on his organisation's historical archive.

Why is today's Russia romanticising the memory of Stalinism?, Roginsky asks - and proceeds to walk the reader through the issues. It starts off slow, but ends up sketching an instructive panorama of the current junction in Russia's development.

Read:

0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Jan, 2009 09:10 pm
Anastasia Baburova was just 25 - and the fourth Novaya Gazeta journalist to be murdered

Most news reports on the double political murder in Moscow last week focused on Stanislav Markelov, a prolific human rights lawyer who was shot in the back of the head by an unknown gunman. With good reason - he was the intended target, and he is the latest of an ominous series of assassinated critics of the Russian powers that be.

But who was Anastasia Baburova, the opposition journalist who was with him, who was shot while trying to apprehend the gunman? Her friends and colleagues describe a young, idealistic woman, who was not scared of asking critical questions or facing down injustice.

Read on...
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Jan, 2009 11:50 pm
@nimh,
Scary. I wonder if my friends are okay. I'm really worried.
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 11:55 am
@cicerone imposter,
If they're not active in opposition politics, dissident journalism or human rights activism (and they're not not black or Turkic and don't live in Chechnya), I'm sure they're perfectly safe... if you just go about your regular life and don't bother the authorities, I'm guessing life's as it always was. There's corruption and crime, but that's true all across the region.
0 Replies
 
 

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